Chet, age 10, sat quietly with a small smile on his face, content to let hospital staff fuss over him. A physical therapist and technician made adjustments and listed necessary modifications; his pediatrician watched over the entire process and held Chet’s hand; a child life specialist draped a blanket over him and helped him play on an iPad; and the outpatient services director made sure his appointment went smoothly.
Consider these specialists his pit crew, working toward the single goal of ensuring his utmost safety and comfort on the road in his family’s mid-size sedan.
The scene is the new Special Needs Car Seat Clinic at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City, driven by a team of experts throughout the hospital, to fill a gap in community services, which is car seats for children with special physical needs.
“You make that car seat look good, buddy!” said Physical Therapist Scott Jerome encouragingly as he adjusted the car seat prototype’s five-point harness.
Chet, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is one of many Shriners Hospitals patients who needs special car seats. For optimal safety and comfort, Chet needs head, neck and lateral support; hip guides; a mid-thigh positioning cushion; a seat extension to accommodate his long legs; and a seat built to support children heavier than 80 pounds. Car seats like this simply do not exist on store shelves.
Read the rest of the article in our quarterly magazine, Leaders in Care.