Special Needs Transportation Q&A

For children with conditions that make it unsafe or impossible to use a conventional CR, models made to meet special needs exist. For example, two types of options for children in casts are shown.

The Q&A format for this article was drawn from a conference webinar held in November, during which Barbara DiGirolamo of Boston Children’s Hospital reviewed the types of situations that arise when transporting children with special needs, as well as the CRs that are available to ensure these children continue to ride safely.  DiGirolamo, a CPST-I and STAC (Safe Travel for All Children)-certified instructor, draws from her experience fitting children with a variety of special needs with suitable CR systems. Read More from “Special Needs Transportation Q&A”

Halo Traction Requires Special Attention for CPS


Halo Cast
A halo traction device poses several challenges for proper CR use. Whether the child uses a CR or a booster, the webbing should be routed within the frame to contact the shoulders. (Image courtesy of Automotive Safety Program at Indiana University School of Medicine.)

Halo traction is used to hold the head in place and stabilize the cervical spine after surgery or injury. It is comprised of a metal framework (called a halo, due to the fact that it encircles the head) attached by pins to the patient’s skull and connected to the body using straps or a vest. The device allows children to move around and participate in many regular activities during the weeks or months of recovery. Although helpful tips for caregivers of children using a halo can be found online, very little is said about safely transporting these children.

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Canada Weighs in Against Routine CR Screening of Preterm Infants

Based on a review of research related to the infant car seat challenge (ICSC), the Canadian Paediatric Society (CaPS, Canada’s version of the American Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP) has issued a revised position statement.  It now says that insufficient evidence exists to recommend routine use of the ICSC as part of discharge procedures for preterm infants.

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Debate in the NICU Continues: What’s a CPST to Think When Doctors Disagree?

As readers know, I am not a doctor.  Occasionally, though, as CPSTs we must consider certain medical conditions that influence the safety or children as vehicle passengers.  Fortunately, there’s no need for CPSTs to hold a medical degree; simply follow the advice of doctors regarding the relevant symptoms of a diagnosis and how they might influence a child’s safety  (either in a crash or during normal riding).  To guide us, we are fortunate to have peer-reviewed scientific studies and policy statements from the medical community.

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AAP Updates Report on CPS for Preemies and Low Birth Weight Infants

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released the updated clinical report, “Safe Transportation of Preterm and Low Birth Weight Infants at Hospital Discharge.”  The report is the result of a lengthy and thorough analysis and review process headed by Marilyn J. Bull, MD, and William A. Engle, MD. The new clinical report replaces the policy statement on this subject that had been in effect since 1996. The AAP added the clinical report classification sometime after the prior policy statement was issued.  With this update, it was determined that the document better suited the definition of a clinical report (“guidance for the clinician in rendering pediatric care”), so it was reclassified.

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