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Aspects of the vehicle to consider for a child with special needs to travel in greater comfort

Aspects of the vehicle to consider for a child with special needs to travel in greater comfort

11/12/2015

Being comfortable in a car is not only important to travel without noticing the miles going by, it can also be a great help to make journeys more bearable for a child who needs some extra care, or that can get easily upset. We are going to talk about some points to consider if we are in this situation

Firstly, before purchasing the seat that we are going to use during the months or years ahead, we must test it.

Not all seats can be easily fitted safely in all vehicles. It is therefore important that, at the very least, the retail outlet permits a trial installation before purchase, or allows the seat to be returned if there are any problems or incompatibilities during installation. Additionally, it is viewed positively that the car has anchors that are able to accommodate the child restraint properly and also do so in a comfortable and firm way.

Also related to seat placement, there has to be enough space in the rear seats. Not only to place the child seat in position, but also so the child with special needs does not feel overwhelmed and an adult can fit the seat and sit by his/her side without being crushed. As we know, since October 2015 all children should ride, with few exceptions, in the rear seats, and preferably in the center rear seat.

In today's market there are many cars with generous interior space without having to resort to typical mini-vans. We must take into consideration that special needs are usually associated with increased care and attention when buckling the harness and, sometimes, specific larger car seats. Perhaps a sedan where a conventional child restraint fits well will not be enough for a child restraint designed for a particular ailment.

However, the issue is not only related to space. There are more things we can assess with a short test drive before making the purchase, such as whether the suspension has a comfortable setting. Dampers that are too firm will be responsible for not properly filtering all the bumps and jolts on the road, causing the child to suffer more than necessary on any trip.

A car that has an automatic transmission also helps to make the trip more relaxed. This is not only to save changing gears, but because modern transmissions make the changes between speeds almost imperceptible, which will make the child's neck suffer less, especially in cases of children with low muscle mass.

It is also important to keep the inside of the vehicle at an appropriate and consistent temperature. To do this, it would be ideal if our car had automatic air-conditioning. We would thus avoid variations based on the outside temperature and direct sunlight would be offset, making the child's trip comfortable at all times.

Finally, beyond being a simple cosmetic addition, if our car can have blinds or tinted rear windows, this will prevent changes in light or direct sunlight from annoying the child.

11/12/2015

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