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Bringing lie flat car seats to Australia

Improving the health, safety and well-being of medically vulnerable babies and their families

Lie flat child restraints

Some babies with conditions such as spinal muscular atrophy and sleep apnoea are unable to be transported in a recline position, resulting in parents travelling with their child on their lap, or in an unsafe recline position.

At MACA we were shocked to learn that Australia, unlike some other developed countries, does not have access to lie flat car seats. As Julie’s story shows, these types of car seats offer improved protection and support for medically vulnerable children, enabling families to independently get to appointments and get out and about with their child.

Julie's story

"As a parent myself who lost two daughters to Type 1 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the devastation of not being able to go out with my family before my daughters died, lives with me forever.

Every time we went out it would be in an ambulance to hospital, because that was the only way my children were able to be transported flat on a stretcher.

Having lived in a rural and remote area, it was a burden to the ambulance system to come to my rural property then have to take us over 100kms to the nearest hospital to receive specialist treatment.

With a proper car bed/seat, events like this could be prevented."

Julie Cini, CEO, SMA Australia Inc

What's MACA doing to address this gap?

MACA is currently testing a lie flat medical car bed as part of its Australian Safety Assessment Program (AuSAP). Results of this work are expected to be available in May/June 2023.

If the testing is successful MACA will work with industry and hospitals to develop a model for access and use.

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