A variety of specialized equipment exists for SMA patients when traveling. To avoid using substandard products or makeshift restraint systems, and to best ensure a child’s security in a motor vehicle, seek advice from a healthcare professional with experience in working with SMA patients.
Two pieces of specialized equipment usually needed for traveling with babies with SMA are car beds and, for older children, E-Z-ON modified vests.
A car bed is a car seat that lies flat, placing the child in a secure and comfortable position for travel. These are vital for babies with SMA type 1 because of problems with apnea and oxygen desaturation (a drop in blood oxygen levels, often during sleep) when placed in a traditional, upright infant car seat. Car beds are not safer than car seats necessarily, but they are safer for children with special needs. Their necessity should be determined by a physician.
The Angel Guard infant car bed is designed for low birth weight babies and those with special needs. It is specifically designed to be used in the back seat of a car. It helps position infants on the stomach, back or side according to their individual needs. The infant’s head can also be raised to facilitate breathing with the help of a five degree surface.
The Hope car bed is similar in its intent, has five restraint positions, and can be installed in the rear seat.
The Cosco Dreamride car bed is also a car seat equipped with a three-point harness. This may be fewer than most car seats provide, but it meets all required standards. It can accommodate children up to 9 kg (almost 20 lbs.). It is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics to transport premature babies, low birth weight infants, babies with special needs, and medically fragile infants.
E-Z-ON modified vests
The E-Z-ON modified vest is a device that children with SMA type 1 can use once they outgrow the car bed. It buckles into the back seat of a car, providing additional trunk support, and allows the child to lay flat across the back seat while traveling.
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