Special-Needs Strollers and Wheelchairs for the Summer Enthusiast

Don't resign yourself to the indoors just because you have a infant or child with special needs, or if you're an adult who uses a wheelchair. Get outside and have some fun. See what you want to see. Breath the fresh air and enjoy the sun and shade. The park, the wooded trails, the beach, or simply a leisurely journey through your neighborhood can still be within your reach with the right medical supplies.

For The Infants

For those infants who, through either birth defect, illness, or injury, require additional support of their body for stabilization, posture, safety, and comfort, the adaptive stroller category of products can help. 

Adaptive strollers like ones made by Maclaren, Corzo, Trotter, Axiom, Karman, Pigleo, and Convaid, may pleasantly surprise you with the features they offer. For example, features like:

  • vehicle tie-downs for safe travel in a bus, van, or transit
  • lightweight frame
  • optional flip-up arm rests
  • large removable quick-release wheels, or with multi-terrain wheels  
  • collapsability/foldability

​all make adaptive strollers easy to transport from your home, via car, for use at the park, field, trail, or beach.

Other adaptive stroller features focus on safety and comfort, such as:

  • Brakes: Handbrake, and a spring-loaded rear foot break
  • Safety wrist strap
  • Height-adjustable handle
  • Seating area is lined with breathable fabric that wicks away moisture
  • The removable and washable seat also recline 18-degrees for comfort

For Children

Larger children may find better comfort and usability in a pediatric wheelchair. Like infant strollers and adult-sized wheelchairs, pediatric wheelchairs have evolved to the point where they offer features tailored to many different needs.

Invest your time in shopping around because these are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. 

For example, these manufacturers of pediatric wheelchairs have thought through the seemingly competing needs of "durability" and "lightweight", and so much more, to provide your child with the comfort and accessibility required to explore much of their world.

  • Drive
    • Offers a high-strength carbon steel frame
    • Weighs only 30 lbs. but can support up to 250 lbs.
    • Flip-back armrests to accommodate easy transfer in and out of the chair
  • Invacare
    • Special attention given to fitting smaller children, and adjusting as they grow
    • Leg rest positioning, as well as seat-to-floor height adjustments are easy to manipulate
    • Flame-retardant upholstery and triple chrome plated carbon steel frame for durability.
  • Medline
    • Known as a very comfortable chair due to the padded armrests, legrests, and seat
    • Lots of adjustability features, including height-adjustable handles for the comfort of the caregiver behind the chair, legrests that can adjust in height, swing away, and detach for ease of access
    • Tires are deep tread so they are suitable for both indoors and outdoors
  • Karman
    • Known as one of the lightest-weight chairs, weighing only about 20 lbs. (about 10 lbs. less than most chairs in this class)
    • Tall "antelope horn" foam handrests for the caregiver's comfort
    • Comes with a clear feeding tray that stores away with the chair when folded for easy transportation
  • Colours
    • A bit more expensive than most, but extremely adjustable to truly grow with the child long-term
    • Very durable and lightweight, which can make it suitable for a child who plays sports while in their wheelchair
    • The company will, for a fee, re-size the chair to fit the child's new measurements when they go through a growth spurt

For the Adults

Adults, too, need not settle for simply a chair with wheels. All wheelchairs are not created equal. You must determine proper fit to make sure the wheelchair will perform for you.

While shopping for wheelchairs, don't forget that there is a pre-owned market, just like there is for automobiles. Pre-owned wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, and scooters can save you some money, and still offer plenty of features that may interest you.

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