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Paediatr Nurs. 2007 Sep;19(7):14-8.

Fasten their seatbelts: legal restraint of children in car seats and road ambulances.

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  • 1Birmingham Children's Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust.


Registered nurses transport sick children in ambulances and other road vehicles every day in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Safely restraining the child, the equipment and the accompanying adults is a matter which should be addressed by all departments who transport children. A motor vehicle collision may cause an unrestrained child to be seriously injured. An unrestrained child is likely to inflict serious injury on the accompanying nurse or parent. Recent changes in child seat law require that appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure sick children receive the safest possible care. The use of a Regulation 44 compliant child-seat or an appropriately sized five-point stretcher harness should be the default standard when transporting a child in a road vehicle under any circumstances. Recent research also indicates that young infants must never be allowed to sleep in car seats on the ward because of the increased risk of obstructive sleep apnoea.

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