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Car Seats For Special Needs Children

Children of all ages need the correct car seat for their size and weight. A special needs child with spinal cord problems, autism, or cerebral palsy among others, may require car seats that meet their specific special needs.

Children of all ages need the correct car seat for their size and weight. A special needs child with spinal cord problems, autism, or cerebral palsy among others, may require car seats that meet their specific special needs. However, many special needs children will be able to use the traditional car seat without difficulties. Car seats for special needs children provide a safe ride, as well as be more functional due to the design to fit the child's individual needs.

Children With ADD/ADHD/Autism

There are those who may be hyperactive, with autism or other issues which prevent them from sitting quietly and enjoying the ride. One of the issues is safety. When traveling with a child, you certainly do not want the child to be unbuckling themselves and getting out of the car seat. This is not only a safety issue for the child, but all of those in the vehicle, as well as to others that are on the road. There are various vests with special mounts and buckle guards to prevent the child from unhooking their seatbelt or harness which holds them in place.

Muscle tone and muscle strength is needed for us to be able to sit up without support. There are numerous disorders which affect the muscles that may appear soon after birth or even later. Those with spinal cord injuries which affect the upper portion of the body prevents one from sitting up straight without falling over. Not only does the car seat need to provide proper support, but it also needs to provide comfort as well.

Car seats for special needs children, such as those with ADD/ADHD/Autism have various designs that will suit the needs of your child.

Children Wearing Braces or Spica Casts

Another special needs child is one who is required to wear a brace or a cast such as a Spica cast, and others, due to hip dysplasia. These children are not always born with this condition are diagnosed immediately. Once the child is wearing the brace or cast, the car seat which has been used in the past is no longer feasible. There are car seats which will accommodate a brace and Spica cast while protecting the child during travel. These special needs car seats can also be used once the brace or cast is removed, as long as the child has not outgrown by height or weight capacity.

Premature Infants

Another group of special needs children who need a more specialized car seat is preemies. These babies, although ready to be sent home from the hospital are small and delayed physically by their chronological age. A baby who may have been born three months early, yet 3 months old by birth age, is virtually the same as a full term newborn at birth. Their muscles and bones are not ready yet to fully support them.

One common problem found with premature babies is a condition called “reflux.” The traditional car seat is often too large, and it may aggravate the reflux due to the fact that they baby is folded over at their stomach area. Others may have various breathing problems as well which is also hindered by the traditional car seat. Many of these babies who cannot lie flat, but there are special needs car seats for special needs children and preemies which will allow the body to be in the correct, elevated, position, while riding safely.

The Growing Child And Cost

Not every car seat for special needs children can be used for every child. The selection should be according to the child’s height and weight, along with the reason they need a special needs car seat. Many of these car seats can be used until the child reaches a weight of 40 pounds or possibly more. Therefore, parents may be able to use these car seats for several years.

Once the child outgrows a car seat, there are specialized booster seats, harness and seatbelt systems that can be used for the older child if there is a need to do so. Another thing to keep in mind, when selecting a car seat, is that there are rear-facing car seats, which is recommended for all children under the age of 2, that will meet your child's special needs.

There are multiple brands of special needs car seats with various features. One of the most recommended is those by Britax. However, there are various features such as swing outs which enable the parents to place the child and then remove them from the car seat easily, among others. Some of these additional features are purchased separately, and are often custom designed per child.

Cost

Some of these specialized car seats are expensive upward to over $1000. Because they are specialized, there is the possibility that your health insurance, medicare or medicaid may pay for it. Of course, you will need a letter of necessity among other documents to satisfy the insurance company, if at all. You may want to check with your child's insurance provider(s) before you pay out of pocket, to see which car seats, if any, that they will cover.

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