Things to Know about Special Needs Restraints

When talking about child passenger safety, “Special Needs” refers to children with either long-term or short term medical conditions that prohibit the use of standard car seats. Your nurse or health care provider will determine if your child is in need of a special child passenger safety restraint. Once that is determined, contact The Special Needs Child Passenger Resource Center is the next step.

Car Beds

  • An infant’s head should ALWAYS face the center of the vehicle when using a car bed.
  • You may not be able to install a car bed next to another car seat.
  • Parents with multiple newborns requiring car beds should be prepared for the possibility of going home in separate vehicles, or make multiple trips.
  • A car bed is not suitable for use as an infant carrier.
  • You should consult your pediatrician to find out when your child is able to ride in a conventional car seat.

Orthopedic Condition Restraints

Casts will affect the types of clothes your child can wear. Bring larger clothing that will accommodate the cast. Some casts have a bar between the child’s legs, so keep that in mind when making a clothing determination

  • Once home, have your child wiggle their toes often to help promote movement.
  • Keep the cast dry and clean
  • Tickle your child’s toes to make sure he/she can feel it
  • Turn your child every 2 hours during the day and every 4 hours at night

Large Medical Restraints

Some large medical restraints require the installation of additional hardware into your vehicle, and some large medical restraints may be too large to be properly and safely installed in certain vehicles.

When purchasing a large medical restraint:

  • Ask the manufacturer if additional hardware is required for proper and safe installation.
  • Ask the manufacturer if the restraint will fit properly and safely into your vehicle.
  • If additional hardware is required, ask your vehicle manufacturer for the location of a certified professional able to perform the installation.
  • If additional hardware is required, schedule its installation prior to the delivery of your restraint.