A federal panel has established recommendations for transporting children in ambulances.
The NHTSA project released Wednesday offers pre-hospital providers a number of scenarios that include suggestions on how best to safely transport the child.
The panel that included people from various national EMS organizations said they were faced with a lack of data.
“Very limited safety engineering research has been conducted to identify the safest methods of transporting children in ambulances. However, the principles of child and patient restraint are useful in developing recommended protocols and practices for child restraint in ground ambulances, as well as guiding safety research and crash testing activities. Existing safety engineering research on this issue focuses on younger children, primarily those 6 and younger,” according to the report.
As they worked to gather information, the group echoed the concerns of both NEMSAC and FICEMS: “There is no single national EMS dataset in the United States that can be analyzed to better understand the annual number of ambulance trips, the number that involve children, the frequency of ambulance crashes, the victims or types of injuries associated with such crashes, or the possible causes of such crashes and the injuries involved…”
During a 1998 study, it was learned that 35 states had no laws requiring people of any age to be buckled up while in an ambulance, the report noted.
Since then, many jurisdictions have come up with their own protocols regarding seat belt use.