This is a guest post by EMS Safety Expert Jim Love. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
Thirty years ago when we needed to transport an infant or child in our ambulance either a parent or medic carried the child. Often the adult holding the child was secured to the stretcher while holding the child in their arms. In some situations very sick kids were simply placed on the stretcher- sometimes a short board was used to secure the child.
Thirty years ago car seats in passenger vehicles were not as widespread as today and they were not required by law. Today car seats are required in passenger vehicles, but not always for ambulances. In fact ambulances are often exempt in many states.
It is estimated that in the US close to two million infants and children are transported each year by ambulance. While only around 3% of total patient transports it is still a significant number. In fact this estimate may be grossly understated as we often transport non-sick/non-injured infants and children in order to expedite the transport of an adult. These well kids are not counted in the patient transport numbers.
Pediatric Patient Transport Research
I am studying how much better we secure infants and children today than 30 years ago. Please log on to www.EMSafety.net/page9 and complete the quick infant transport survey. Feel free to send comments and include your email address for possible follow-up and clarification.
- No one seat is the right size for all children and infants.
- Kids must be secured. The forces of a severe collision are greater than your ability to hold them safely in your arms.
- Whenever possible healthy kids should be transported in a separate vehicle in a proper seat for their size and weight.
Thank you for your participation in the short survey.
Jim discussed EMS safety and safety education on episode 48 of the EMSEduCast. Listen to the conversation about safety education, safety role modeling, and safety education best practices.