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Making the difficult task of transporting a child with special needs safer
Date:7/13/2009

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new study by researchers from the Automotive Safety Program at Riley Hospital for Children and Indiana University School of Medicine published online July 13, 2009 in the journal Pediatrics reports that the parents of children with special health care needs are doing a good job with the selection of the appropriate child car seat but still need help in using it correctly.

The study, one of the first to look at how children with special needs are transported by their parents and to compare this behavior with American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, offers advice on making transport safer for the child and less stressful for both the child and the parent.

Transporting a child with special needs can be difficult, especially for a parent who must do so without the help of another adult.

"Having a child with special needs can be stressful, but traveling with a child with special needs can be especially stressful. But the best way to decrease transportation stress is to know that you have put the child into the right type of car seat, that the seat is properly installed and that the child is positioned correctly," said the study's first author, Joseph O'Neil, M.D., M.P.H., Indiana University School of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics and a Riley Hospital pediatrician.

The survey of 275 drivers transporting children with special needs in their vehicles found that 82 percent had secured their children in car seats appropriate for their size, weight and condition, although the majority had at least one misuse. The researchers found such misuses as installation of the car seat in the vehicle's front seat rather than rear seat and utilization of front facing seats when weight and height dictated that the child should have faced to the rear. They also reported that 20 percent of the children would have benefited from additional body-positioning support.

"Like all kids, children with spe
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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