Date: 03 Aug 2020
What to consider before buying a special needs stroller?
One of the most important items for a special needs child and their parents is the stroller - the most frequently used accessory when outdoors. There are many types of special needs strollers out there and even more customization, color variants, comfort upgrades, fabrics and sizes. Also knows as special needs buggies, pushchairs and prams, these pediatric accessories come in several variations depending on intended use, safety and even looks. You may come across active strollers, all-terrain jogging strollers, lightweight or classic ones - all designed and used according to what the child's needs and condition.
What to consider before buying a stroller for special needs children?
A special needs stroller will be most likely used on a daily basis as your child grows through the years. This is why it is so important to pick the right size from the get-go. The last thing you'd want is to choose a stroller size that your child will outgrow the following year, making the stroller small and uncomfortable to use. Most special needs strollers will require adjustment as your child grow in order to accommodate their new size.
What to consider before buying a stroller
- It is of the utmost importance that the children or young adult do not sit in the stroller for prolonged periods of time IF they cannot shift their weight to relieve pressure on their own.
- Seat back height needs to be optimal and fitting the child's height in order to ensure safe posterior support for the head.
- Push chair seat back height must be just above the middle of the back of the child's head in order to provide the proper support.
- The footrest height is crucial for correct positioning of the child's legs, feet, knees and hips.
- The stroller and its adjustments need to fit the child's positioning needs perfectly.
- The design of the stroller must not place extra pressure on the child's sit bones to prevent pressure sores.
How to choose the right stroller for your child's needs and condition?
You are out there actively looking for a special need stroller but there are so many options - luxurious carriages looking like prams, extra safe and rugged jogger strollers, ultra-light strollers, etc. Consider your child's actual needs and particular condition. Do they need extra safety or better comfort? Do they need extra head support or maybe extra leg support? Do you intend to take regular walks in the park or maybe even jog with your precious little darling? Only then you should start considering variations such as shape, brand and color.
Consider your lifestyle
Do you do a lot of walking, jogging and other outdoors activities together with your child in a stroller? If yes, then maybe you need a stroller with a special suspension and safety systems pre-installed. Maybe you need an all-terrain stroller with bigger wheels and capable of clearing rough paths easily.
Do you plan on traveling with the stroller?
Portability of the stroller is essential if you're a regular adventure head who want to have a stroller that easily folded away and put in a trunk. If that is the case, then look for a stroller that can be folded or dissembled.
Make sure to check the stroller's weight and assembly - how many parts it is made of and can they be easily dissembled and stowed away in a trunk. Additionally, Is the stroller maneuverable enough? Is it an outdoor type of a stroller, that is, built to protect the child from the elements and made of durable materials that would not deteriorate under the sun rays?
When size is concerned -- can the stroller fit through your front door while the child is in it? Does it provide easy access to public buildings?
Is the stroller heavy? Heavy strollers might not be the best choice if you are going up and down stairways with your child on a daily basis. In such cases a lighter model is a better option.
What about the wheels - are they oversize and built to conquer all terrain or are they thin and more suitable for urban strolls? Fully independent wheels are recommended for supermarket and mall use, while oversize wheel are usually used for jogging and active outdoors use. Fully independent wheels feature a caster-like movement and often come with a locking device that guides the front wheels straight forward for easier movement.
Is this stroller going to be the only stroller at home?
If so, then first and foremost look for portability as compact strollers can be taken everywhere - even on an airplane. However, if you intend to have two or more strollers, then one of them should be portable and light, while the others can be bigger and with bigger emphasis on comfort, safety and all-terrain compatibility.
Last but not least, consider your budget. An amazing stroller would look and feel great, but sometimes it will come at a price. So choose carefully and do some research about the stroller and the seller offering it. Strollers not often go on discounts and sales, so your best option is to find a special needs store that offers great prices by default. At the end of the day, investing in a high quality stroller will be the more affordable option, as budget strollers would normally not last as long as a high quality.
Not sure how to choose the perfect stroller for your child? Do not hesitate to ask us. We are here to help you make the right decision!
Goldy Scott03 Aug 2020Thank you for this detailed article on strollers. I got mine from you guys (the Racer) and I аm pretty happy about it