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Vol. 15 - Num. 57

Original Papers

The safety of children with special needs as car occupants

Jesús Monclús Gonzáleza, A Galdónb

aIngeniero Industrial, Especialista en Seguridad Vial. Madrid. España.
bResponsable de Investigación del Instituto de Seguridad Vial de la Fundación MAPFRE. Madrid. España.

Correspondence: J Monclús. E-mail:

Reference of this article: Monclús González J, Galdón A. The safety of children with special needs as car occupants. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2013;15:37-51.

Published in Internet: 21-03-2013 - Visits: 41455


Objective: to open a debate in Spain about the safety of children with special needs as car passengers.

Material and methods: a review of the international literature has been undertaken in order to identify related articles, handbooks and guides. Several ones have been found in EE.UU., Canada and Sweden. Findings have been summarized in a table with technical solutions for around 30 different medical conditions. A preliminary market analysis in Spain has been performed.

Results: the number of children with special needs from the point of view of their safety in the automobile has been estimated in Spain in around 60,000. Several countries have developed handbooks or guides on this matter. This is not the case in Spain. Some children with special needs can use conventional child safety seats; others need specialized (medical) seats. Not all technical solutions available in other countries are sold in Spain; the number of solutions in the Spanish market, in fact, is very small. Special needs seats are normally very expensive; in some cases they are only needed during a short period of time.

Conclusions: the authors aim to trigger a more profound debate in Spain about the safety of special needs children as car passengers. This debate should be steered by the Spanish pediatrician community. The final outcome should be a handbook for medicine practitioners, parents and tutors (several examples exist at international level). It is recommended to implement purchase and loans programs to support the use of specialized child seats.


Car occupants Special needs Traffic crashes



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