Traveling is part of everyday life, especially if you have a special child who needs to go to doctor’s appointments, physiotherapist visits, special school attendance, and even family gatherings or just to go to the park or go with you to the mall.
I have even seen some parents jog with their kids in their stroller. What an awesome sight!
Thus, a special needs stroller, or an adaptive stroller, is a most essential companion for parents and caregivers for easy mobility.
When planning to buy, what do you have to keep in mind? Is it the price? Durability, comfort, beauty?
Lots of reasons perhaps. So, what is the best special needs stroller out there? How do you choose one for your child?
Reasons for buying a stroller
1. Need– Do you have frequent visits to doctors and therapists, or does your child go to school at least 3 times a week?
2. Comfort- Is it the right fit for your kid for him to be comfy for long hours of sitting or lying down?
3. Price – Do you want something that is not so pricey, anyway your child will outgrow the stroller soon or is it okay with you to pay more now, anyway he can use it for years to come?
4. Durability – Is your child on the heavy side or is older that something which will not wear out soon needs to be bought for him?
5. Disability– Is your child unable to walk at all or have stiff joints that prevent him to be moved easily to fit in the stroller?
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When to buy
Foremost, you have to consider the need to decide when to purchase your stroller. Definitely, you will need one when you go out every week or even just twice a month for those appointments for your child.
You also have to consider that your kid will have mobility issues for some years because he will have delayed developments of some motor capabilities, like in children with Down syndrome, so deciding when to buy is critical.
Plan on the long term use so you can decide well on what to buy. Be open to the idea that your child will walk later than normal kids and when he learns to walk, it will take a while for him to have full balance.
If your child has disabilities that need to be addressed, consult your physiotherapist or rehabilitation doctor for proper advice on what type of adaptive stroller to buy.
Depending on where you live, some government health insurance may pay for these devices for your special child. Your private health insurance might be able to help as well. You just have to inquire, who knows you don’t need your pocket at all or you might pay only partial of the whole amount.
I am introducing 3 adaptive strollers for you to choose from. Of course, there are lots of choices out there but these 3, based on my research, are very useful for the kids with special needs. This review will somehow give you ideas when you are ready to buy one for your child.
Reviews on 3 strollers
1. MacLaren Major Elite Transport Chair
- Its basic weight is 7.7kg/16.9lb
- It is ideal for children age 6 months and weighs up to 50kg/110lb.
- When open, it measures: L x W x H 92 x 53.5 x 108 cm; 36 x 21 x 42.5 in
- If folded, it measures : L x W x H 115 x 27.5 x 22.5 cm ; 45 x 11 x 9 in
- It has high-performance aluminum frame, ergonomically optimized
handles, full swiveling front wheel and brakes on each rear wheel
- This is available in AMAZON
- This transport chair is ideal for both small and even big kids who are too heavy but unable to walk by themselves.
- It is lightweight, sturdy, easy to open, and fits in the back of the car.
- It runs smoothly on rough surfaces and is very easy to handle.
- It is very comfortable and a kid will enjoy sitting in it.
- The seat is wide and allows room to grow for a special needs child.
- It is perfect for traveling, easy to fold and set, and super light to carry.
- The swiveling front wheels make the stroller maneuverable in tight spaces.
- The foot rest has to be removed to close, thus, a hassle when traveling buy bus or train.
- It has squeaky, loud wheels.
- The front wheels don’t spin easily on very smooth surfaces, like tiles in a mall.
- The seat depth is a little too shallow, so little kids have a tendency to slide down.
- One buyer’s experience: The left steer wheel became very stiff and the stroller cannot be turned, and the wheel came off totally when he straightened it.
- Amazon return policy is 4 months and MacLaren is 2 months, after which, they don’t accept returns if they get broken.
- Hood and lateral supports have to be bought separately.
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2. Trotter Lightweight Adaptable Stroller
Price: USD $ 1,810.00
- The dimension in its smallest size : 53 x 12.8 x 17.8 inches
- The smallest size has a basic weight of 19 lbs ( 24 lbs with front rigging )
- It is ideal for simple transportation because it has a lightweight folding frame with closure straps
- The range of weight capacity is 75 to 250 lbs ( available in 4 sizes )
- It comes with optional transit or school bus tie-downs, which is really good for school transport
- Click here to buy
- It has swing- away or removable foot rests for easy getting in and out.
- It comes with 5-point harness to keep child safe and comfy.
- Simple adjustments allow to grow with your child.
- It has adjustable seat depth, depending on the size of your child.
- It provides easy curbside navigation with tipping assist lever.
- Free shipping if you buy here
- There is a wide wheel base so when turning to left or right, the front wheel seems to get caught.
- The chair is on the tall side, thus, not ideal for short kids.
- It is quite bulky and heavy.
- It is difficult to fold and unfold at first- you need a certain time to get used to it.
- It is not easy to control on an uneven surface.
- It has limited two year warranty
3. Special Tomato Special Needs Jogging Stroller
Price: USD $ 799.00
- This is ideal for children up to 110 lbs
- The lightweight aluminum frame allows it to be folded easily
- When open, it measures : L x W x H 42″ x 26″ x 43″
- If folded, it measures : L x W x H 33″ x 21″ x 16″
- It is durable, thus ideal for long use
- It has a reclining seat ( recline range 100 to 140 degrees ).
- The stroller weighs -27 lbs
- Click here to buy
- With 5-point harness to keep child safe and comfy
- It is very comfortable for long trips.
- The stroller for a jogging parent
- It rolls really well ; the 12″ pneumatic tires works well both on smooth streets and rugged terrain
- The front wheel can lock in place during jogging.
- Free shipping if you buy here
- Basket under the stroller has to be bought separately
- Takes a bit of space when folded up
Is it time to buy?
Special needs strollers or the adaptive strollers are definitely a necessity for our special kids with mobility issues.
Your kids are able to walk probably at this point, but then they get tired easily with long walks.
For those with wheelchairs, you might still consider buying an adaptive stroller for them because wheelchairs are usually bulky and heavy.
My final word
Remember to always consult your child’s physiotherapist or rehabilitation doctor for advice as to what specific adaptive stroller will fit your child to address his mobility and disability needs.
After all, your child’s comfort is foremost in your mind, as well as your need to consider your budget because these strollers are not on the cheap side.
Lastly, put inquiry to your health insurance, private or government, if they will pay your mobility device.
Have you used several adaptive strollers through the years? Did your child prefer one over the other? Please let us know your experiences in the comments below.
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