are Electric Wheelchairs Safe For Parents & Babies : LUSENET : Disabled Parents Network : One Thread

I'm the Information & Advice worker for a local disability organisation & I'm supporting a pregnant disabled woman to get the services she needs. She would like to have an electric wheelchair but has been told by wheelchair services that it's not safe to use an electric wheelchair outdoors while carrying a baby. I think this is wrong!

Has anybody got experiences to back up our argument? Has anybody got advice on the safety when carrying a baby & using an electric wheelchair?

We've got a meeting with wheelchair services next Wednesday (16 December 2003) so it would be great to receive messages before then.

Many thanks

Jamie Renton

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2003


I don't think any authority can tell a disabled parent that it isn't safe for them to carry their baby while using and electric chair, if the parent feels comfortable in doing so I think it is their choice.

The safest option that I have used when my baby was small was a baby carrier and due to the fact that I also had a belt on me we were safe as houses.

Lisa Duke

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2003

Surely, an electric wheelchair would be safer for her to use than a manual wheelchair, trying to propel with one arm only?

The electric wheelchair will be instrumental in allowing her to remain independent, get out of the house, and to do many of the other things which she'll be doing as a Mum, like going to toddler groups, etc.

I think there is a HUGE issue where it is considered that a wheelchair/buggy/scooter is being used to convey people other than those that it is insured to convey - but on the other hand, if you accidentally ran over somebody's foot, and broke a bone in it, you would be covered by the insurance! I know that ShopMobility Schemes don't allow disabled parents to carry children with them, which is a complete nonsense - what else are you supposed to do with the child - expect it to follow along behind!

Sooner or later, somebody somewhere will wake up to the fact the disabled parents do have children, and do need to transport them around with them, and then hopefully this stuff and nonsense can stop!

Put Wheelchair Services in touch with us here at DPN if they give you any nonsense! They want to be making this new Mum's life easier, not creating hurdles for her!

Good luck 0 Good to meet you at the Disability Capital Event on Saturday. Let us know how you get on at the meeting.

-- Anonymous, December 14, 2003

When my son was a baby I carried him in a baby sling in my manual wheelchair. It did affect the balance of the chair but I would not have done it if there was any doubt that it was dangerous. I cannot see why it would be any different using an electric chair.

Now I have a mobility scooter and I carry my son (now 2 1/2) on the back in a baby backpack which is securely fastened over the seat. I know scooter is only designed to carry one passenger (me!) but I have had no problems using my converted backpack. It is safe and secure, it has allowed me to go out on my own with my son and he absolutely loves it! Everyone we see says it is such a good idea and no-one has ever suggested that it is dangerous.

Clair Coult

-- Anonymous, December 14, 2003

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