Some of the children were born premature. Some
suffer debilitating physical conditions like hydroencephalitis.
Others require temporary casts.
In all cases, standard car seats are not a good fit. But
specialty car seats are very expensive, some costing up to
Enter La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago. The South Side
hospital has been loaning out specialty car seats to low-income
"This is something that people really don't know about until
they need one," says Craig Sjogerman, community outreach
coordinator at La Rabida and a certified installer of the specialty
There are a variety of seats. Some are more like "car
beds" used for infants who must lie down due to premature birth,
apnea and other oxygen issues. Others are used for kids with
Forward-facing medical seats are used for larger kids or
children with cerebral palsy.
"There are many options for children with specials needs that
parents don't know about," Sjogerman says. "The gold standard is
that they are all crash-tested."
Parents will be taught how to safely install the seats and pay
$20 for a two-month loan.
La Rabida loans between 100 and 150 seats each year.
For information, visit larabida.org.
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