Car seat guidelines are back in the news, with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending this spring that children use rear-facing car seats until age 2 or until they reach the seats’ maximum height and weight capacities.
The guidelines also recommend that children continue to use booster seats until they’re 4’9″ tall and between the ages of 8 and 12. The guidelines were amended based on data showing children are at less risk of injury in crashes if the kids are properly and very specifically positioned at the time.
Of course, the challenge of keeping kids safe in motor vehicles is even more challenging if those kids have seating & positioning special needs. Not too long ago, car seat choices were very limited, especially for older, taller or heavier children. But now, thanks to a mini boom in this product niche, clinicians and providers — not to mention caregivers — have a wider range of choices that offer positioning support as well as a safer ride.
And as a bonus, these systems are so attractive that they can be hard to tell apart from “regular” car seats.
Add backrest and seat extensions to grow this seat to fit kids ages 2-15. Designed to protect against side impacts, with the ability to conform to a child’s natural contours.
From Convaid: convaid.com
Churchill & Roosevelt
The Roosevelt car seat features the EZ-Up headrest system, independent and bilateral hip adjusters making up the scoliosis harness option, and a pommel. The Churchill positioning system acts like a booster seat for larger kids; it also includes the EZ-Up headrest and the pommel, plus a vest for torso support. The Churchill incorporates the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belt. The company also offers the Hope car bed.
From Merritt Manufacturing: eztether.com
Height-adjustable headrest, infinite angle adjustment of the headrest by an integrated air cushion, five-point positioning belt and protection from side impacts. An optional turning plate can help to facilitate transfers. Easily removable cover can be machine washed. Plus, of course, there’s the history of the RECARO name (think: racecar seats).
From Exomotion: exomotion.com
Spirit Adjustable Positioning System (APS) Car Seat
Designed for passengers from 25 to 130 lbs. and up to 66″ tall, this seat features a soft-padded head support, low-profile sides to facilitate transfers, five-point safety harness, and a recline bar to provide optional recline/tilt. If more positioning aid is required, the Spirit offers individually adjustable swing-away trunk and hip supports that can be fitted to the passenger’s specifications.
From Columbia Medical: columbiamedical.com