Is CARES harness safe for lighter-weight 4-yr-old?



I'll be traveling alone w/out hubby during the holidays with our two daughters: the oldest turns 4 next week, and the youngest will be 7 months. Both kids have seats on the planes. Youngest will be in the Chicco Keyfit 30 but I'm unsure how I want to handle the oldest.

When we traveled this summer, hubby was with us so it was easy, with the extra pair of hands. We formerly used a Safety First Avenue for our oldest daughter, and we've always wheeled her through the airports (we always have a layover) via the GoGo Babyz attached to the Safety First Avenue. This summer we sidelined the Safety First Avenue, got a double stroller for use in the airports, and strapped the oldest in with a CARES harness. Hubby helped with the logistics of folding/unfolding/gate-checking the stroller.

I subsequently read that the CARES harness may not be a great/safe option for kids <40 lbs. Does anyone know if that's true? Oldest daughter is 33 lbs. If she's not going to be safe in the CARES harness I can bring out the Safety First Avenue again, though she may not like it after having sat in the "big" seat during the summer trip. I do still need a way to cart both kids through the airport, and as such, wonder if buying a second GoGo Babyz thingy for the Chicco would be better than dealing with the stroller (plus kids and luggage).

Has anybody wheeled two kids in car seats through the airport alone, and was it difficult? If older daughter is okay/safe in the CARES, I might just keep with the stroller option, even though it will be tougher for me to handle (lifting/folding/gate-checking) by myself. But my daughter's safety in-flight is the most important thing.

I should note that my parents have a car seat for our oldest daughter in their car, for the ride to their house from the airport at our destination. Though...if I have both car seats and two GoGo Babyz doohickeys, I can hire a car on our end to take us to/from the airport. If I use the CARES harness, I'll have to drive our own car in the wee small hours on departure day, and park at the airport for the week, which isn't the end of the world, but I'm not wild about it.

Decisions, decisions! Thanks for any input!


New member
How tall is your older DD? The Cares has a height limit of 40" I think. The issue with smaller kids using the Cares is more that the lap belt may not fit correctly or tight enough.

I'm pretty sure we started using our Cares when DD was about 35 lb. And kept using it with DS until he was almost 6 and probably 43-44". With a seat at your destination I'd keep it easier at the airport and use the Cares.

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