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How can we improve the situation of children with special needs and their families?

How can we improve the situation of children with special needs and their families?

05/02/2016

Transporting children safely in the vehicle must be a prime objective, both by users and manufacturers of vehicles and seats needed to ensure these movements are performed with guarantees.

Some children have to receive special attention and as a result of their conditions, the same resources that would be used to transport another child cannot be used. Despite the fact that all children have the right to access an appropriate CRS, infant seats do not always respond to special needs children may have. In this context manufacturers, public authorities, as well as society in general must be more aware of this problem, since working in several aspects the daily life of these families would be much more bearable.

  • Child Restraint Systems for children with special needs are more expensive than conventional CRS, hovering around 1000 euro per unit (not counting modifications that each case requires). Public bodies must have a fund that guarantees access for each child with permanent additional needs to an adequate CRS.
  • For children with special needs of a temporary nature, public bodies must establish systems for lending or renting CRS so that families do not have to fully pay for a seat that will only be used over a determined period.
  • CRS manufacturing companies could develop more rear-facing seat models and which cover a greater range of weights. CRS oriented opposite to the direction of movement are safer, especially for children with special needs.
  • The whole of society must be educated as to what traveling with a child with special needs entails. Detailed studies must be performed of how many children need additional care and how their ailments are grouped.
  • It would be helpful to bodies, both nationally and internationally, to include in their agendas an in-depth and detailed review of safety of children with special needs in vehicles, apart from general considerations associated with necessary road safety.
  • In relation to medical personnel action can be undertaken in two phases. In first instance, obtain health equipment to treat these children's conditions and ensure measures and developments are up to date, both regarding treatments and recommendations in movements and CRS which arise in the other countries. And secondly, advise points of specialized information or associations on this aspect, since they are direct intermediaries with the families. Personnel of these points need not necessarily be medical personnel, they may be volunteers who want to help, but always giving information supervised by health personnel so that human and informative support provided is the most appropriate for these families' needs.


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