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Helping Children with Special Medical Needs Travel Safely

  • Published: 2011-02-28 : Author: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
  • Synopsis: Seats will be delivered to 49 hospitals and 16 pediatric practices statewide.

PennDOT is helping hospitals and pediatric practices statewide to ensure children with limited mobility and other special health-care needs can travel safely, acting Secretary Barry J. Schoch, P.E., said today.

PennDOT has invested $91,666 in state funds to purchase 111 specialized car seats through a contract with the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Traffic Injury Prevention Project (PA AAP TIPP).

Through the contract, 65 Hope Car Beds and 46 Snug Seat Hippo car seats were purchased. The car bed is a crash-tested seat for children with conditions such as spina bifida, scoliosis and other conditions that prevent them from being able to sit in standard car seats. Hippo seats allow children with hip casts to travel in a crash-tested seat.

Seats will be delivered to 49 hospitals and 16 pediatric practices statewide. Each pediatric practice will receive one car bed and each hospital will receive one car bed and one Hippo seat to be loaned to families and caregivers. The seats are expected to last six to 10 years, depending on the model.

"Previously, some of these children had to go to their medical appointments in an ambulance because traditional car seats would not keep them safe. This program will alleviate that burden for these children and their families," said Schoch. "Family members or guardians shouldn't have to worry whether children can ride safely to medical appointments or on errands."

The seats are purchased through the Child Passenger Restraint Fund, which is funded by fines from violations of the child passenger safety laws. In partnership with PennDOT, the PA AAP TIPP developed a course on the car seats' proper usage for the medical professionals receiving them. Approved by the University of Pittsburgh, the course provides one credit toward the professionals' medical licensure.

The fund is used semi-annually to purchase standard car seats for use in more than 100 loaner programs across the state. These programs are coordinated through police departments, pediatric practices, hospitals and other partners. To learn more about this program, call 1-800-CAR-BELT.

Learn more about PennDOT's safety efforts by visiting

List of hospitals and pediatric practices receiving specialized seats:

Allegheny County

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
The Children's Institute
West Penn Hospital
Magee-Women's Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Armstrong County: Children's Community Pediatrics - Armstrong

Blair County: Blair Medical Associates Pediatrics

Bucks County

Grand View Hospital
Lower Bucks Hospital

Butler County: Children's Community Pediatrics Armstrong

Cambria County: Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center

Center County: Center Medical Surgical Associates

Chester County

Chester County Hospital
Phoenixville Hospital

Clearfield County

Clearfield Hospital
Dubois Regional Medical Group - DuBois
DuBois Regional Medical Center

Delaware County: Delaware County Memorial Hospital

Erie County

Hamot Medical Center
Shriner's Hospital for Children
Saint Vincent Health System

Franklin County: Chambersburg Hospital

Jefferson County: Dubois Regional Medical Group - Punxsutawney

Lackawanna County

Moses Taylor Hospital
Pediatrics of Northeastern PA

Lancaster County: Grace Pediatrics

Lebanon County: Good Samaritan Pediatrics

Lehigh County: Lehigh Valley Hospital

Luzerne County

Geisinger Wyoming Valley
Hazleton Professional Services
Wyoming Valley Healthcare System

Mercer County

Grove City Medical Center
Sharon Regional Health System Main Hospital
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Horizon - Shenango Valley

Monroe County: Pocono Medical Center

Montgomery County: Pottstown Memorial Medical Center

Montour County: Geisinger - Janet Weis Children's Hospital

Northampton County: St. Luke's Hospital - Bethlehem

Schuylkill County

Blue Mountain Pediatrics
Schuylkill Medical Center

Tioga County: Wellsboro Pediatric Healthcare Associates

Venango County: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Northwest

Warren County: Warren Pediatrics

Washington County: Ripepi Pediatrics

Westmoreland County: Pediatric Associates- Latrobe

York County: Hanover Pediatrics

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