Specialized Safety Seats

Zohar Filber

Zohar Filber

Head of Equipment Display Center

The Mishcon Family Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Needs/ In memory of Taube Korn z"l

The Mishcon Family Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Needs was established in 1999 atALYN with the aim of distributing information about safe seating for children with special needs to families and professionals involved in accompanying or driving them.

Within the framework of the Center's activities personalized assessments are made, and advice concerning the correct installation of car seats for children with special needs is offered to parents and professionals.

The Center focuses on instruction relating to the safe tie down of wheelchairs within a vehicle.

The Center organizes lectures, seminars and courses relating to the correct installation of car seats for children with special needs, for the staff of various institutions, and for workers involved in transporting children with special needs.

The Center staff is also involved in working to promote the rights of children with special needs to travel safely with their parents and in organized transport. In cooperation with government departments and local authorities, the Center staff is working to influence government policymaking in this field by suggesting changes in the law, fixing standards etc.

The Center provides an option for the short-term loan of a car seat to parents of a child who is temporarily disabled (for example, following orthopedic surgery).

The Mishcon Family Center was established by Taube Korn z"l, one of ALYN's veteran occupational therapists who worked tirelessly to promote safe transportation for children with special needs. Taube brought her knowledge and professionalism from  the USA. sShe  trained  many occupational therapists around the country. In addition, she instructed countless parents and caregivers of special needs children as to the important elements of safe seating, thereby enabling thousands of special needs children nationwide to benefit from her expertise and knowledge. Taube received nation-wide recognition and a number of awards for her work.

On Jerusalem Day 2010, following a serious illness, Taube sadly passed away. Even during her illness she continued working to promote the Center. To honor Taube's memory, and in recognition of her devotion to the Center -- its work and its goals -- we have named the Center after her.


Safe Transportation of Premature Babies

Babies born prematurely often require an adjustment of safety seats in cars during the first few months of their lives.

Full term babies  transported in a car should be positioned at a semi-reclining 45degree angle in the safety seat, facing the back of the vehicle. This way, if a frontal crash should occur, the force of impact will be absorbed by the safety seat, leaving the infant almost entirely unharmed. However, this position can be hazardous for underweight babies or infants with low muscle tone.

Recommendations by the Mishcon Family Center for the Safe Transportation of Children and Beterem Organization: (See Beterem's description under Beterem)

Preparing the infant for their first ride in a car:

  • Shortly before being released from the hospital, medical staff must examine the infant’s ability to properly be driven in a semi-reclining position.
  • The examination is performed in the following manner: The infant is placed in the safety seat for an hour and a half (or more, depending on the estimated time of the drive home) while connected to a monitor.
  • Medical staff ensures that no respiratory arrest, cardiac dysrhythmia or low oxygen saturation occurs while the infant is in the safety seat.
  • Based on the test results, it will be determined whether or not the infant can be driven safely in the seat, in a semi-reclining position.
  • If the test results indicate there may be danger in driving the infant in a semi-reclining position, a doctor must check for alternatives, such as providing oxygen during the drive, driving the infant in a special recliner, or even providing further hospitalization.
  • A similar test should be performed on other high-risk groups: babies with low muscle tone (as a result of Down syndrome or neuromuscular conditions), for infants following cardiac surgery, and infants suffering from respiratory conditions.
  • Medical staff must instruct parents on how to safely transport a premature baby, including avoiding positioning the child in a semi-reclining position other than during transport.
  • If an infant needs to be transported with heavy medical equipment (monitor, oxygen, respiratory machine, etc.) all equipment should be properly placed and anchored to the car.
  • Equipment should be anchored with an available seatbelt or placed securely below the car seat.



Specialized Safety Seats

Safe transportation for a passenger sitting in a wheelchair or stroller:

Safe transportation of a person using a wheelchair or a stroller requires appropriate equipment and the knowledge as to how to use it. If possible, it is always best to transfer the person to the car seat and use the provided seatbelts. When transporting a person in a wheelchair/stroller, a headrest must be used.

The correct system for transporting a person in a wheelchair/stroller includes two elements:

  1.  A standardized 4-belt tie down system. The belts connect to the wheelchair/stroller at their strongest points and cannot be attached to detachable parts, such as arm rests, wheels, or leg rests. See illustration below.
  2.  A standardized passenger belt connected to the chassis of the car. Internal belts of the wheelchair do not provide appropriate protection for passengers. In the event of an accident, they will disengage from the wheelchair. See illustration below.

Wheelchair tie down systems need to be used with a reinforced base of the car, with tracks to connect the belts. Following are the two leading companies worldwide that provide standardized equipment.