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Car Seats and Traveling with 2 toddlers

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive November 2006: Car Seats and Traveling with 2 toddlers
By Heaventree on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 08:56 am:

I'm thinking of going home next spring with both children, Cameron will be walking by then and Matthew will be 3 years old.

I would fly from Toronto to Vancouver (approx. 5 hours) then have a stop-over in Vancouver and then another 1 hour flight further North.

What do I do about car seats? Should I bring my own or rent a car with car seats. I rented a car seat once when Matthew was a baby and it was a disaster. Will they let me check my own car seats? If so how are they packed? Does it go through specials services like golf clubs? Anyone have any experience with this? Advice/suggestions?

By Claire on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 09:28 am:

I would bring your own just to be safe. I have always used my carseats on flights I think that's the only safe way.

By Trina~moderator on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 09:30 am:

Bring your own car seats and have your kids fly in them just as they would in the car. They will be more comfortable and safer that way. I do not recommend checking them because I've heard horror stories about car seats being lost or damaged that way. I also would never rent car seats. Again, I've heard awful stories about nasty and inappropriate car seats being offered as rentals.

By Jtsmom on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 09:42 am:

I took my boys on a plane trip this past summer and brought both of their carseats for them to sit in. They were both aircraft approved, but when we got on the plane my oldest sons wouldn't even fit in the seat, so be careful. I don't know if there is somewhere you can call to get measurements or what. Just wanted to share, because after lugging luggage, 2 HEAVY car seats and 2 kids through the airport, I was a bit frazzeled to find out that the carseat wouldn't even fit!!

By Conni on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 10:05 am:

I was just at American Airlines website checking on a flight and noticed they sell an airline approved 5 pt harness for children, that work with the seatbelt on the plane. I do not know anything about these and have never used one. I just thought I would mention that it might be something to check into.

These may be for older, bigger, heavier children. And they may not be safe for any age or size child. Trina would know more about that.

By Trina~moderator on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 10:23 am:

Conni, they are fairly new so I don't know much about them, but I do know they are just for flying. What would Heaventree use once she reaches her destination?

FAA - Child Safety on Airplanes

By Conni on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 10:35 am:

I guess I thought she might check her car seats and only use these on the plane. Honestly, I don't think these will work for babies will they?? I had *just* come from that AA website to here and they were fresh on my mind. I probably shouldnt have posted them.

By Heaventree on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 11:31 am:

Trina, I'm not sure if Air Canada allows carseats on the plane but I will check into it. However, I'm not exactly sure how I will carry 2 carseats, manage 2 children with strollers and diaper bags and carry on luggage all by myself. This is why I thought I would check them. Does the airline staff help carry the carseats on the plane?

By Trina~moderator on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 01:05 pm:

Conni, from the little I have read I think they're OK for forward facing kids, but obviously wouldn't work for rear facing babies. They may not even be an option as of yet in Canada. Still, there is problem of what to use for restraints once the destination is reached. *I* would not check in car seats as luggage. If it's absolutely necessary, I would prefer to gate check with the strollers.

Heaventree, According to the info at the Air Canada web site aircraft certified car seats are allowed, as long as they fit.

Acceptable Child Restraint Devices: restrictions for an infant/child occupying a seat

Air Canada is bound by Transport Canada regulations with regards to acceptable Child Restraint Devices.

An infant for whom a seat has been purchased must be properly secured in a child restraint device.
A child, over two years of age but weighing less than 18 kg (40 lbs), can be secured in a child restraint device.
In both cases, the device must fit between the armrests of an aircraft seat and must have been manufactured on or after January 1, 1981 .

Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (Canada) Child restraint devices (CMVSS 213 (or 213.1)) manufactured to United States standards on or after February 26, 1985 must bear two labels:

“This child restraint system conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicles safety standards.”
“This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft .”
Infants or children weighing less than 9 kg (20 lbs) must be secured in a rear-facing infant restraint device.
Infants or children weighing 9 kg (20 lbs) or more, up to a maximum of 18 kg (40 lbs), must be secured in a forward-facing restraint device.
Infant must be fastened when in device.
Foreign-built car seats must adhere to these criteria as well.
The following are non-acceptable devices: booster seats, belly loops, Snuglis™ or other pouch-shaped devices, and Little Cargo™ seats (notwithstanding the manufacturer's claims that they are approved for use in aircraft).
A restraint device that cannot be restrained due to size, design, or damage must be checked in, as it cannot be stowed under the seats or in the overhead bins.
Please contact your travel agent or Air Canada Reservations to clarify this due to certain exceptions.

Melanie would be a good one to get advice from regarding flying with kids! :) I would recommend using a large backpack as your carry on and put all diaper bag contents and other essentials into it. Each child will also be allowed a carry on. A backpack for each child will hold busy toys, drinks, snacks, etc.. I don't have time to post now, but I know of people who have gotten quite creative with kids, luggage and strollers. I do believe the airline staff will help you, especially if you are alone.

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