developmental disabilities

New Resource Alert: Webinar on Safety in Children with Special Health Care Needs

November 20, 2014
Patty Huang recently presented a webinar on safety in children with special health care needs (CHSCN), hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services' Injury and Violence Prevention and CYSHCN Programs. In it, she describes key factors that place CSHCN at risk for unintentional injuries, and reviews strategies for injury prevention that families of CHSCN should know. Here are some links to access the presentation.

Airplane Safety Restraint for Kids with Special Needs

August 20, 2014
What if my patient doesn't need an adaptive car seat but has behavioral challenges and the parents feel that the traditional airplane seat belt may not be effective enough to keep him restrained? The CARES restraint is approved for airplane use for children 22-40 lbs and up 40 inches tall. If a child exceeds the weight limit but the parents feel that this is still a better option for restraint, they can apply for an exemption from the FAA.

A Perfect Storm

August 12, 2013
There is convincing evidence that individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at heightened risk for unsafe driving behaviors, including teens. Despite a “perfect storm” of inexperience, adolescence and ADHD that increases crash risk, only emerging research about potential interventions exists for these teens. This can be frustrating for both parents and clinicians, like myself, who frequently discuss the risk of driving with teens with ADHD but have little information to offer about specific ways to keep them safe. In an editorial published today in JAMA Pediatrics, my CIRP@CHOP colleagues Flaura Winston and Catherine McDonald address this need head-on.

Minimizing Risk of Unintentional Injury For Children with Disabilities- Part One

July 11, 2013
A couple of summers ago, I awoke to the sound of the doorbell ringing at 7AM. Puzzled, I looked through the window and saw a young girl with Down syndrome standing on our front step. She said that she was lost and didn’t know where her mom was. We quickly called the police, and thankfully, her mother found us within a short period of time, explaining that her daughter had run out of the house while they were preparing for a move. Thankfully, no one was hurt during that experience, but it was a dangerous situation. With the recent buzz of excitement in my clinical practice about summer’s increased outdoor time, I thought it would be helpful to discuss why children with developmental disabilities are at higher risk of unintentional injury when the weather’s warm. And in a future post, to share prevention tools that are available.

Autism and Flying

June 6, 2013

With the upcoming summer vacations, I'm fielding a lot of questions in my developmental pediatrics clinic about flying. Flying can generally be a stressful experience for any traveler but especially so for some of my patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. The crowds, changes in routine, and unpredictable events can have a way of triggering anxieties and possibly behavioral difficulties for children with ASD (along with other developmental disabilities).

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