Adaptive Transportation

All children deserve to be protected as occupants in motor vehicles in restraint systems appropriate for their size and development. However, some children who have certain medical conditions or procedures require special consideration when selecting restraints.

Regardless of whether or not a child’s medical condition presents short-term or long-term challenges, a child should travel in a restraint system that provides optimum protection. Oftentimes, a conventional car seat will meet the safety and positioning needs of a child with special health care needs. Other times, an adaptive restraint will be necessary.

This website contains basic information about transporting children who have certain medical conditions or procedures. It is by no means all-inclusive. The information was adapted from the curriculum, Safe Travel for All Children: Transporting Children with Special Health Care Needs, developed by the Automotive Safety Program.

Find a Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area of the United States who has successfully completed the Safe Travel for All Children course – go to the Safe Kids Worldwide Certification website and enter your location information and then check the “Special Needs” box in the Extra Training drop-down.  

Find a Safe Travel for All Children Instructor in your area, go to Find a STAC Instructor and choose your state.

Find Conventional Restraint Options in the AAP Car Seat Product Listing and Adaptive Restraint Options in the National Center Brochure

Brochures with transportation recommendations for specific diagnoses


If you are in the Indianapolis area and are interested in an evaluation for an adaptive restraint – please have your child’s physician complete a referral for an “Occupational Therapy evaluation – adaptive car seat”.  The referral plus recent physician visit notes indicating reasoning for adaptive car seat evaluation can be faxed to the Riley Children’s Health Adaptive Equipment Department at 317-944-1141.  Questions regarding scheduling for Riley Children’s Health Adaptive Equipment Department can be directed to the scheduling team at 317-948-2022.