Transporting Infants and Children with Special Needs in Personal Vehicles: A Best Practices Guide for Healthcare Practitioners

January 2008
TP14772 E



Summary

In a crash, the proper use of infant or child car seats can reduce the risk of death by 71% and the risk of injury by 67% (Weber, 2000; Wegner & Girasek, 2003). Like any child, infants and children with special healthcare needs must be provided with appropriate protection in vehicles.

The purpose of this guide is to provide healthcare professionals with information on issues relating to transporting infants and children with special needs in personal vehicles. This resource should be used in consultation with families and health professionals who are very familiar with the child's condition and their physical or behavioural challenges. The guide provides information on the legislative and regulatory requirements for the safe transportation of children. It also includes a description of the types of children's restraint systems (i.e., car seats) currently available in Canada, including conventional car seats, production restraint systems for persons with special needs, and custom restraint systems for persons with special needs.

Children with special needs include infants and children with short-term and long-term physical, developmental, or severe behavioural health conditions (e.g., autism). In some cases, a conventional car seat may remain the appropriate choice of product; while in other cases, a conventional car seat could aggravate a pre-existing health condition or would not offer the best protection in a crash.



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