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Understanding Positioning during Transportation

Transportation: car, plane, bus

Therapeutic seating for a child who requires support to maintain a well-aligned posture is important wherever and whenever the child is seated. But when it comes to transporting a child with these needs, the importance takes on even greater significance. Car rides, bus rides and plane rides can be unpredictable. An unexpected change in speed or direction, a bump in the road or sudden turbulence in the air can challenge all of us. But children who have delayed or weakened responses to these challenges can be at risk for injury. Children with special needs often require greater support when being transported than they do in stationary seated situations. A well-aligned, properly supported and restrained child can be a safe and happy traveler!

Understanding Support Points in Sitting is a great place to start when considering support needed for a child during transportation. Proper positioning of the pelvis and securing that position is always the foundation of a well aligned seated position. Pelvic position is maintained by the hip belt which is a part of the 5-Point Harness found in the Child Restraint System (CRS). The term 5-Point Harness refers to the number of places the harness is attached to the CRS- 2 at the shoulders, 2 at the hips and 1 between the legs. Adaptive car seats usually come standard with some positioning features and offer optional accessories to customize support for children with more complex needs. Sometimes children have very specific needs when traveling. For example, children who are required to wear a hip spica cast due to immobilization after surgery for DDH (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip) or after a femoral fracture present unique challenges for positioning during transportation. The new Quokka by R82 is a great solution.

The Special Tomato MPS Car Seat is another great example of a Child Restraint System designed to meet the needs of children who require additional postural support during travel. The Hip-Flex™ adjustment allows for customized support of pelvic position without reclining the seat back. The unique Customize Your Size contoured cushion selection ensures a snug fit of support features and straps optimizing comfort and safety. The Special Tomato MPS Car Seat has been approved for aircraft as well as motor vehicle travel.

Understanding Car Seats versus Booster Seats is also beneficial when transporting a child with special needs. Car beds for premature infants and adaptive strollers or wheelchairs that can be tied down in a van or bus are other solutions to keeping a person with special needs comfortable and safe during travel. Underlying every choice is the understanding that a properly aligned and supported seated posture is necessary for both comfort and safety and can make all the difference in child’s tolerance for travel.

Do you find yourself with a unique transportation issue that you are struggling to find a solution for? The therapist’s here at Adaptivemall.com would be happy to answer any questions that you have. Give us a call at 1-800-371-2778.

Wishing you Safe and Happy Travels,