Finding the best infant car seat can be a challenge for any parent, but if you have a special needs child it can be even more challenging. Special needs children require unique products – hence their namesake – special needs! They can’t always verbalize or communicate so you want them to be safe. They may have certain medical conditions that may include tracheotomy-breathing tubes, decreased muscle tone, recent surgeries, hip casts or body casts, or behavioural or muscular-control problems.
You may not be able to find these seats in department stores but they are available. Some of the seats that I’ve found that are good candidates for these types of children are:
Angel Guard Infant Car Bed – Mainly used for pre-mature babies.
Snug Seat Traveller Plus – forward facing and reclining for kids with poor head control and it comes with many accessories.
Snug Seat Hippo – this can be used forward or rear-facing for kids with hip casts.
Carrie Car Seats – for children with decreased muscle tone.
If you are unsure you can always talk with your child’s physician or a safety technician with training in special needs. While a special needs seat may be more expensive, it is a must for children with certain disorders to keep them safe. The problem with some of the types of car seats is comfort, washing and raised bumps. You should check out the car seat before purchasing. You can get convertible car seats that will make your child more comfortable, for instance. There are two main types of restraints, custom restraints and production restraints that you must be aware of as well.
Custom restraints are made for children with special needs and parents need to be informed about their availability and proper use. As children grow they may outgrow their current restraints due to height and weight issues. All members of the family should be aware and discuss options for the future so the child can be safe and enjoy their rides in the car. One of the better car seats for special needs children is the Britax car seat. They offer a variety of car seats and ensure safety. There are also special vest you can get that will clip right to your car seat for added protection.
It is difficult enough to deal with a special needs child without having to worry about the safety of your car seat. With a little preparation and research you can find the right car seat to fit your and your child’s needs whatever they may be. You want a seat that will make you life easier and give your child the safety and comfortable ride that they need.