Lugging a car seat on board a plane is such a hassle that most parents don’t even try.
That’s why, if you do a lot of family travel, you might want to invest in CARES, a lightweight harness that the Federal Aviation Administration has approved for kids who weigh 22 to 44 pounds (around 1 to 4 years old). The device is a simple system of straps and buckles that wrap around the seat back and loop through the plane’s lap belt. It’s $75 (including an instructional DVD) at kidsflysafe.com.
For children under 22 pounds, though, using a car seat is still the safest way to fly, says safety expert Phyllis Agran, M.D.