Although it’s generally preferable for children to ride in a conventional car seat whenever possible, the following adaptive child restraints are available to meet the transportation needs of children with certain conditions. All products listed meet FMVSS 213; click “Product Summary” to learn further details, including availability in Canada. The listing is organized by type, so some models that serve multiple functions are listed twice.
This product information has been provided to Safe Ride News Publications by the manufacturers and, as needed, will be updated as directed by them. In addition, you can click on “Manufacturer’s Website” to leave this website and visit the manufacturer’s page.
Car beds are crash-tested devices for children who may only ride when lying flat due to prematurity or other medical conditions. Children should transition to a rear-facing car seat as soon as a doctor says they can safely ride in a semi-reclined position.
Child Restraints with a High Harness Weight Limit
(child weight > 65 lbs./29.48 kgs)
These products provide the upper-body support of a five-point harness for children who need this form of restraint beyond the weight limits of a conventional car seat. Some of seats models offer anti-escape accessories to prevent children from unbuckling during a ride. These products offer additional supportive and positioning accessories, as well.
Child Restraints for Casted Children
The following products accommodate certain types of casts that are incompatible with a child’s everyday car seat (for instance, a hip spica cast, arm cast, or full-body cast). IMPORTANT: Use the child’s casted weight when considering weight limits.
Boosters and Belt Positioners with Supplemental Upper-Body Support
These products add a positional/support harness for children who are large and mature enough to ride in a booster seat (in which the seat belt provides the restraint). Most products offer additional supportive and positioning accessories, as well. (Note: The child MUST also wear a lap-shoulder belt over the product’s harness; the harness provides positional support but is not load-bearing.)
Vests are webbing (and sometimes also fabric) systems that wrap around the child’s body, providing positional support. When using a vest, the child is seated on the vehicle seat (not a plastic shell) and the vest is attached to vehicle anchorage points. Vests typically allow use at higher weight limits than conventional car seats and some provide anti-escape features to prevent children from unbuckling during a ride. Order/use a crotch strap with a vest whenever possible to ensure the child does not slouch out of position. (Note: Vests used in passenger vehicles MUST also be used with a vehicle seat belt.)
Other Child Restraints for Special Needs
These products meet specialized transportation needs for children with certain conditions, but cannot be categorized with the others listed.