Travel accessories for kids help them stay safe and amused on family trips and while running errands. Infants and toddlers have a high center of gravity and delicate bone structure that renders them susceptible to injury when unrestrained during a vehicle crash, according to Texas A&M University’s AgriLife Extension Service. If you have a child with special needs, review the travel accessories required to properly take care of your special needs child with your health professional before your next trip.
Child Safety Seats: Child safety seats help guard your children against injury in a vehicle crash. Every state in the U.S.A. requires drivers to restrain infants and small children while driving. Install your child safety seat and find a free inspection to confirm you’ve installed it correctly by contacting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA estimates three-out-of-four parents do not use child restraints properly. Use a rear facing seat until your child reaches at least 12 months old and 20 pounds, or the maximum height and weight specified by the manufacturer, advises AgriLife. Seat your toddler in a forward facing seat and children over 40 pounds, but less than 4’9″ tall, in a booster seat.
AmSafe Aviation Child Aviation Restraint System: Approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2006, the AmSafe Aviation Child Aviation Restraint System, is a child safety device for airplanes that secure children safely in their seats during the flight. The use of this airplane child restraint system is not required by the FAA, but it does prohibit U.S. airlines from refusing parents the right to use it onboard the aircraft. This lightweight portable device does not resemble a hard backed child safety seat and is appropriate for children between 22 and 44 pounds. The AmSafe Aviation Child Aviation Restraint Systemconsists of one belt that goes around the back of the seat and an attached harness that threads through the airplane seat belt.
Car Bed: Your health professional may suggest using a car-bed instead of a safety seat while traveling in a vehicle with your child. A crash-tested car bed allows premature infants and children with special needs to travel safely in a motor vehicle. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends examining the possibility of using of a car bed for preemies born earlier than 37 weeks, especially those with heart rate problems or breathing difficulties. This size of this travel accessory depends on the size of your child. Place her in the car bed with her head towards the middle of the car and away from the car door. Breathing monitors and other medical equipment necessary for the trip should not be attached to the car bed and securely fastened to prevent them from shifting during the trip.
AgriLife Extension at Texas A&M University: The ABCs on Child Safety Seats
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Child Safety Seat Inspection Station Locator
Federal Aviation Administration: FAA Approves New Child Safety Device
CARES kids fly safe: Child Aviation Restraint System
Children’s Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania: Keeping Kids Safe During Crashes