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ERIC Number: EJ781214
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
The Role of Parents and Caregivers in Providing Safe Transportation for Occupants Seated in Wheelchairs
Schneider, Lawrence W.; Manary, Miriam; Bertocci, Gina
Exceptional Parent, v37 n11 p100-101 Nov 2007
The responsibility for providing safe transportation for travelers seated in wheelchairs is shared by many stakeholders, including wheelchair and tiedown/restraint manufacturers, vehicle modifiers and equipment installers, transit providers, rehabilitation technology suppliers, wheelchair/seating clinicians, and even informed and responsible travelers and their caregivers. Just as buckling a seatbelt, placing a child in a properly secured child safety seat, or wearing a bicycle helmet are responsible actions based on response to knowledge of risk, there is much that parents and caregivers can do to ensure that occupants seated in wheelchairs are provided with the safest possible transportation. It is, of course, not possible to remove all injury risk from motor-vehicle transportation, and there are many uncontrollable factors that can affect the likelihood and severity of occupant injuries, including the magnitude and direction of the crash and the age and physical condition of the occupant. However, there are some very specific things that can be done to minimize injury risk and particularly to prevent needless injuries to travelers seated in wheelchairs in non-crash and minor-crash situations. Family members and caregivers need to be informed about "best practice" in wheelchair transportation safety, and they need to be proactive with their knowledge in advocating on behalf of passengers seated in wheelchairs. There are also a couple of things that parents and caregivers are in a unique position to do that can be very important to preventing needless injuries in events such as the emergency braking incident at the outset of this article. One of these is to equip the wheelchair with a postural lap belt and ensure that it is used during transportation. While postural belts should not be relied on for restraint in motor-vehicle crashes, a properly positioned postural belt will keep a person in their wheelchair in non-collision or minor crash events. It will also enable improved placement of vehicle seatbelts by improving sitting posture. While parents and caregivers should be able to look to the transportation provider to provide a reasonable level of safe transportation for travelers seated in wheelchairs, knowledgeable and educated caregivers can make an important contribution to reducing injury risk. Understanding the basic principles of transportation safety and occupant crash protection enables parents and caregivers to become part of the team working for safer transportation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A