Tips for Transporting Children

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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.

Each year up to 1000 children are injured as the result of a crash while being transported in an ambulance.  On August 5th in Washington DC a meeting was held to discuss the safe transport in ambulances.  This is one of the statistics shared during the opening of the meeting.  Five categories of child transports were identified based on need and include:

  1. Child who is uninjured/not ill;
  2. Child who is ill and/or injured and whose condition does not require continuous and/or intensive medical monitoring and/or interventions;
  3. Child whose condition requires continuous and/or intensive medical monitoring and/or interventions;
  4. Child whose condition requires spinal immobilization and/or lying flat; and
  5. Child or children who require transport as part of a multiple patient transport (newborn with Mother, multiple children, etc.).

For each category there is a defined ideal transport as well as alternatives when the ideal is not possible.  The group also recommends that all EMS organizations engage in pre-planning to assure they are prepared to safely and properly transport children.

  • Have the right equipment to transport pediatric patients of different size with varying needs.
  • Practice using the equipment with all members of the team,
  • Work with allied agencies to get their cooperation, as needed, to transport the uninjured, not ill child.
  • Never allow children, injured or not, sick or not- to be transported in the arms of a parent or caregiver.

For more information go to www.regulations.gov to see comments and the text of this working group.  Enter 2010-0089 into the search engine. Additional information available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS and http://nhtsa-ems.mci-it.com/Default.aspx

To read a longer an article on this topic view Ambulance transport: protecting our kids at EMS1.com by the author Jim Love.

Jim Love began his EMS career in 1974. Jim was the National Director of Safety and Risk for AMR. Jim is currently enjoying consulting on EMS safety. He maintains an EMS Safety site and blog, Emsafety.net, and can be contacted at drjlove007@gmail.com.