Background Car seats are vital for reducing the incidence of motor vehicle-related injury and death. Many children with special healthcare needs require specialised transportation resources, which can be costly and difficult to instal. The present study aims to characterise the patient population served by a paediatric hospital’s special needs car seat loaner program and community-based special needs inspection station data. These concerted efforts attempt to improve the occupant safety children special healthcare needs.
Methods Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) certified in special healthcare needs, conducted car seat consultations for patients over a 2-year period. In each consult, a CPST evaluated the patient and provided an appropriate loaner seat, along with education regarding proper installation of the seat. Additionally, car seat inspection station collected data on child restraint selection and installation (uses and misuses) of children with special healthcare needs in the community.
Results Car seats were distributed to 124 patients throughout the hospital. The community-based car seat inspection station provided insight on selection, installation and referral processes for children with special healthcare needs. Both strategies provided special needs CPS resources to children and increased safe transportation options for families.
Conclusions The loaner program served children with temporary and long-term special healthcare needs. The special needs inspection station provided a unique insight to selection, installation and educational resource needs related to transportation. Car seat loaner programs for special needs children offers cost-effective and convenient means of promoting child passenger safety for children with a variety of unique medical needs.
- special health care needs children
- car seats
- child safety seats
- child restraints
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