MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan medical center is helping to provide families of children with special needs and disabilities with proper car seats.

“I want these children to have the opportunity to travel,” said Trinity Health Muskegon injury prevention coordinator Holly Alway.

A special needs car seat clinic has been created by Trinity Health to get children in comfortable and fitting car seats. It’s only the second clinic in the state to provide these services.

Evaluations do require a referral from a specialist on the child’s treatment team and insurance authorization. Appointments include a physical therapy evaluation regarding the child’s medical history and positioning needs, assessment of the child’s strength and posture, and a discussion around current transportation needs.

Following those steps, the clinic will work with vendors to get the requested medical seats.

“They don’t get to go on outings, they don’t get to go to the park they don’t get to do the kind of things that make childhood great, so we want to make sure that all kids have those opportunities,” said Alway.

She added that in general, across the country, families are misusing car seats, which only adds to the need for proper usage.  Alway said the misuse ranges anywhere from 70-90%. Much of that falls under the “critical misuse” category, meaning that if you do get in a crash, the car seat will not do what it needs to do to keep children safe.

“The special needs families are already underserved in many ways and this layer really just complicates some of the issues that they’re looking at,” Alway added.

For appointments, call 231-672-6940. Appointments will be held at Trinity Health Rehab Muskegon Campus at 1400 Mercy Drive, Suite 50, Muskegon, MI, 49444. Appointments are required.