My daughter recently had hip surgery and will be in a spica cast for the next six weeks. She no longer fits her regular car seat, or any other car seat that does not cost $500 or so (and can't be tried out beforehand) -

We spoke for quite a while with the car seat people at the hospital and they basically said that what she needs is a booster or car seat with a high, deep base and no armrests. I've looked everywhere I can think of online and can't find anything that matches that description. In lieu of that she has to use a special vest that makes her lie down in the backseat strapped to the seat belts.

Has anyone heard of a booster or car seat with a high, deep base and no armrests? I've looked the usual places online (amazon.com, walmart.com) with no luck. She is four and a half, 41 lbs and 41 inches tall.


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    Welcome to Parenting! That's certainly a challenge... How old is she? I wonder whether medical supply companies might have suggestions about an appropriate model, or be able to rent you one instead of having to buy it.
    – Acire
    Jan 1, 2016 at 21:24
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    Ah, good point, I did not think of them - I added age/weight/height data to the question. Jan 1, 2016 at 21:33
  • In your region/country/state, is it legal to use a seat belt adjuster instead of a booster? From a safety point of view, they're fairly similar (SuperFreakonomics gives a great explanation of why!), and this obviously would avoid the carseat issue; but they're often not legal for that age, depending on the local laws.
    – Joe
    Jan 7, 2016 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


I used to work at an orthopedic children's hospital and this is the car seat we would have to lend to families. Sadly, there aren't a lot of options aside from this and the vest.

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Insurance may cover part of it, but that is not usual. Some medical supply companies may have some to rent. You can also check other orthopedic hospitals, like Shriner's Hospital for Children, that my be able to lend or rent one out.

If there is a rehabilitation unit in the hospital, a therapist may be able to write a letter of medical necessity or help track down a special needs car seat for temporary use.

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