News & Features

Call for Councils to Provide Specialist Car Seats

Posted in General News on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

Newlife, the charity which advocates on behalf of disabled children, is campaigning for all councils to provide specialist car seats to families with disabled children who need them to be safe. The charity’s research shows that 50% of local councils adopt the policy not to provide car seats in any circumstances. As a result of this widespread policy, more than 300,000 disabled children are at risk of chocking or sustaining fatal injuries when travelling in cars because they are sitting in unsuitable car seats.  In addition to this, the charity also discovered that there isn’t a legally enforced maximum waiting time for the provision of specialist equipment, and a number of councils fail to adhere to their good practice guidelines on this.

In an effort to improve the situation the charity has provided £1,100,000 worth of specialist equipment to disabled children since 2018. They have also been working alongside local councils to help them to improve their polices. Clare Dangerfield, Campaigning and Public Affairs Manager at Newlife commented: “Although there has been a clear improvement in the number of children now affected by blanket bans, the fact is that as many as 302,223 children are still at risk. Will it take a fatality for these councils to recognise their legal duty to provide the equipment needed to keep these children safe? It’s simply not acceptable for councils to use blanket ban policies to push costs back onto parents. While a standard car-seat costs just £100, the kind of adapted seat required by disabled and terminally ill children can cost up to 35 times as much. Forcing parents to cover the cost of equipment denied by their council due to austerity measures drives families into poverty”

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