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Strollers & Wheelchairs

Every effort should be made to transfer children from their seating system into an appropriate child restraint system that complies with local legislation and carries the National Safety Mark (car safety seat, booster seat, special needs car seat, harness system). 

However, sometimes a child/youth has outgrown the height and weight specifications for typical car seats and/or cannot transfer into a vehicle seat. In these cases, you can transport the child in a wheelchair or stroller, providing they meet certain requirements as outlined below. 

Medical condition, height/weight, equipment and medical support required, proximity to caregiver.

  1. Best practice is to use transport-ready equipment. Most new special-needs strollers and wheelchairs comply with WC-19 regulations and are crash-tested to be used as a seat in a vehicle. 
  2. WC 19 is a voluntary standard for manufacturers to design, test, and label a wheelchair or stroller for use as a seat in a motor vehicle. [Section 19 of American National Standards Institute/Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (ANSI/RESNA) Wheelchair Standards, Volume1, Wheelchair for use as Seats in Motor Vehicles (WC 19) 2000.] 
  3. Follow best practice for traveling in a wheelchair in a vehicle (see Wheelchair Transportation Tips for Children and Youth (PDF) - Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children)
  4. Ensure that the following securements are complete:
    1. Child is secure in their seating system as outlined by the professionals prescribing and/or monitoring the equipment.
    2. Seating system is secure within the mobility base (wheelchair or stroller).
    3. Vehicle seatbelt (shoulder and lap) is used.
    4. Mobility base is secure within the vehicle according to the type of tie-down system in the vehicle.
    5. Taxi: Confirm who is responsible for all attachments when riding in a taxi. The taxi driver is responsible for item iv (tie-downs) and making the vehicle seatbelt available. The caregiver is responsible for items i to iii and ensuring that the shoulder lap belt is secured on the child or youth. Note: The shoulder/lap belt MUST be used when available and appropriate to the child’s size and position.
Consider the following factors:

  1. Child/youth’s current and future physical and equipment needs (consult with medical team, physical therapist, occupational therapist)
  2. How many mobility devices are/will be used (manual and power wheelchair?)
  3. Needs of the entire family (sitting and cargo space)
  4. Parent/caregiver driving ability/comfort
  5. Expenses (purchase, maintenance, gas)
  6. Accessibility (side vs rear entry)
  7. “Tie-down” options - some examples of options available are highlighted on the Q’Straint website  
    1. Sure Lock
    2. Q’Straint
    3. EZ Lock
SOURCE: Strollers & Wheelchairs ( )
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