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

cial needs have medical and dental appointments and many other reasons to go out into the community, so mobility is important. But it's essential that they get there safely," said Dr. O'Neil.

"The parents of children with special needs need to know that help is available from a growing number of physical and occupational therapists trained as child passenger safety technicians. Assistance and information can be found at www.preventinjury.org or www.nhtsa.gov, the website of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration," said Dr. O'Neil.

One of the biggest problems, the researchers found, was that only 8 percent of the drivers they surveyed had properly secured medical equipment including oxygen tanks, monitors, ventilators, and suctioning devices. In the event of a traffic crash these essentials could become dangerous projectiles. To address this safety hazard, Dr. O'Neil and colleagues have designed a device to secure them. A patent is pending on the specialized equipment carrier for which the Riley Hospital physicians are seeking funding to produce and market.

Children with special needs often require assistance while in the car. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends having an adult in the vehicle's back seat to monitor the child so the driver doesn't have to reach around to assist the child while driving. Dr. O'Neil noted that most kids are transported by one adult, as was the case of 70 percent of those in this study.

"We understand that most drivers are the only adult in the car with their child, but we also know it's not optimal. The driver needs to focus on driving, so we recommend pulling over and parking rather than reaching around to assist the child. The safety of the child is always more important than arriving on time," he said.


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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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