Let’s face it; we all start out life on wheels. In fact, most parents are quite adept at wheeling around their young charges in strollers and baby carriages. It’s pretty easy to do when they are small. But what about when they grow bigger? Can you imagine wheeling around a teenager in a stroller? That uncut curb that was once easy to bump up is no longer a piece of cake with a teenager on board. Although this example may be an over simplification of the situation, it illustrates a very common problem. We have seen it played out time and time again as children get bigger and make that transition from stroller to wheelchair.
Mom and dad can no longer lift them and those “few steps” that was once easily navigable in stroller become impossible in a wheelchair. It’s usually at this point that we hear comments from parents such as, “We used to be able to travel when he/she was small, but now that he weighs 100 pounds we just can’t do it anymore.” Although I understand the frustration, that’s not exactly a fair assessment of the situation. Travel is still possible, even with a child in a wheelchair.
The truth is that most parents don’t give access much thought while their child is in a stroller. A stroller fits through standard doorways, it’s not too heavy to bump up a curb and, if worse comes to worst, they can always carry junior. When a child graduates to a wheelchair, parents have to think about accessible rooms, toilets, and transportation for the first time. And when this happens, it takes more time to plan, organize, and actually execute a trip. Although this can be frustrating to many parents who traveled easily before, the good news is that family vacations don’t have to end just because your child uses a wheelchair. Car trips are a favorite family vacation option. It’s just easier to travel by car when your kids are small. Let’s face it; you take a lot of things with you when you travel with young children. That fact by itself makes the family vehicle (with plenty of room for luggage and extras) the ideal vacation transportation choice. Additionally, many toddlers aren’t exactly ideal air passengers. They get bored easily, and it’s hard to keep them entertained on long flights.
On the other hand, if u travel by car you will be more comfortable as the road trip will offer you to halt the vehicle as much time as you want. Car trips also present an especially attractive option for wheeler kids. As one mom says, “My son can’t fly anymore because he can’t really sit in an airplane seat. He just doesn’t have enough head and back support. Now we travel by van and he stays in his own wheelchair. We can stop when we want, and he is safer and more comfortable with this mode of traveling. It’s really a good solution.”