How safe is this child? Clinical guidelines to assist the safe transportation of children in hip spicas and hip braces

Mrs Briony Norris1, Dr Sue Greaves1

1Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

Families of children who have hip spica casts or hip braces face challenges finding options to safely transport their child in a car seat.  In these situations, Occupational Therapists can be tasked with performing modifications to car seats, however, limited guidance exists, and clinical practices are varied.  Whilst national guidelines mandate that all children must be appropriately restrained while travelling in motor vehicles to reduce injury risk in an accident, for children with orthopaedic conditions, compliance with standard methods is difficult and there is little current data defining safe transport protocols for spica-casted children or those in hip braces.

This quality activity project has developed best practice clinical guidelines and related training for occupational therapists, building on existing and emerging clinical and legislated information.  Existing knowledge, attitudes and practices have been gained through baseline and workforce surveys, a key literature review, clinical audits and engagement with key community stakeholders working in the transport and road safety space. Whilst relevant to the context and road safety rules of Victoria, results from this analysis include the development of a standardised clinical practice framework, and the use of this framework to scaffold and target clinician training both internally and externally to the hospital context.


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