Pediatric Orthopaedic Practitioners Society POPS

Question from POPS member Colleen Donovan

Posted over 3 years ago by Suzanne Hilt


I was wondering if any of the other members could share what they are doing regarding the transport of patients in spica casts and/or Petrie casts. We have started a Hippo car seat loaner program, but Britax will no longer be making the seats and our stock is depleted. Any other seats that you have found that fit these kids? Would love to hear what other facilities are doing for transport.


Colleen Donovan APN-C




Colleen Ditro over 3 years ago

We use car seats specifically for this purpose. Our social worker handles them. Let me check with her and see if this is an issue. I know we just bought a bunch.

Susan Laham over 3 years ago

Bad news about the Hippo car seats! We use those on a regular basis as well. In our older children we use an E-Z On harness. I don't know how small they go for the spica babies though. We will run into the same problem when our car seats expire. Eager to hear what everyone else is using. Sue

Gerad Montgomery over 3 years ago

We also use the E-Z on harness.

Anne Stuedemann over 3 years ago

Great question Colleen! I talked to my car seat program here at Mercy (Shannon Bernal, contact info at end of post) and here is what she replied :)

We first received this news early February and many providers throughout the US have shared their frustration with losing the Hippo car seat. Here is an update (dated 2/11/16) from Jason Skinner, OT at the National Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Healthcare Needs:

Good morning everyone, I wanted to provide you all with an update regarding the Hippo and Traveller Plus. I spoke with Derek Fletcher this morning, from r82, who is the distributor for both of the car seats. He told me that r82 is currently in the process of developing their own car seat program, which would include replacement seats for the Hippo and Traveller Plus, as well as new car seats for the market. They do not have a specific timeline for when those seats would be available, but are targeting “sometime this fall”. He said that, initially, they had more than enough inventory to get through this transitional period of no seats being in production. He has received quite a few orders over the past week or so, which could cause inventory to run out sooner than expected. There was no formal announcement made before, because r82 wanted to wait until they had a better idea on a production date. Derek was fully understanding of our concerns and the rush to purchase seats, especially since we weren’t being told anything from Britax, but he did say that we have nothing to worry about long-term, as replacements seats will be available later this year. If you have any questions or concerns for Derek, he said that you could contact him at (336) 906-2480. Have a great day!

Jason Skinner, MOTR, CPST Occupational Therapist National Center for the Safe Transportation of Children With Special Healthcare Needs Fesler Hall, Room 207 1130 W. Michigan Street Indianapolis, IN 46202 800-755-0912/317-274-6716 (phone) 317-274-6710 (fax)

We have also contacted Shayne Merritt at Merritt Manufacturing, a special needs restraint manufacturer, and discussed the need for a car seat that would be both inexpensive and could be used with/without cast (so families could keep car seat). Not helpful for the here and now but will be interesting to see what they will have for children with spica cast.

In the meantime, there are some conventional car seats that may work for kids with spica casts. We have had some luck with the Evenflo Symphony 65 and have used the Alpha Omega Elite in the past (but this seat is often difficult to install). We are always on the lookout for a conventional seat that has a wide and shallow sitting surface allowing for abduction but it is essential the child has some bend at the hips – minimizing the gap between the cast and the car seat. With a conventional car seat, we can provide a seat to the patient that they can keep and use for a longer period of time. If their cast is straight, the modified ezon vests from E-Z-On products work for children at least 1 year of age and at least 20 pounds. She can find these vests and a distributor near her at The vests may be a good option as they do not expire but (if they were to loan them out) would need to be cleaned according to manufacturer instruction which often are not as clean as Infection Control policies require.

I hope this is helpful. I would encourage Colleen to call r82 (formerly Snugseat) and share her concerns (and maybe any modifications she thinks should be made in the new design). If she has any other questions, she is free to contact us.

Shannon Bernal, RN, CPSTI
Children's Mercy Hospital Center for Childhood Safety Car Seat Program
2401 Gillham Road KCMO 64108
816-234-1607 Office 816-458-4747 Beeper 816-855-1995 Fax

Kerry Clark over 3 years ago

Hi, Colleen,
Hasbro Children's Hospital also uses r82
Kerry Clark

Colleen Donovan over 3 years ago

Thank you very much for your responses. I will contact Derek Fletcher.

Amanda Mccullough over 3 years ago

We have had such an issue with these as well-glad to know it isn't just us! We recently purchased EZ on vests for our facility. We were in the process of contracting with a local DME company to supply hippo/britax car seats however then found out they were going out of production. Glad to hear there may be a replacement! I have found that some normal brands (I believe safety first is one and evenflo) can sometimes accommodate a spica as they have seats with low or no sides.

Leslie Rhodes almost 3 years ago

Hello everyone! I wanted to check back in and see if anyone has any updates on the car seat situation. I waited to respond because we were in limbo at the time of this discussion posting and it appears that we may still be in limbo with a plan that changes monthly. In April I was told, we use Alpha Omega Elite (which is also being phased out!), Evenflo Titan and EZ-On Vests. The EZ-On Vests are great ONLY IF they meet the criteria. We were having trouble with our DDH patients.

From some independent research we decided to suggest to families they purchase the Diono Radian whioch is convertible, folding and portable with low lying sides and only cost around $200.

From the SPN list serve I saw this from Mayo: We have switched to using a seat by Diono which large, the seat sides are very low, and the straps are pretty long so it seems to be working well. It is very heavy. We also tried a seat called Maxi-Cosi(Vello65) and found it did not work as well.

Our SafeKids Director commented at that time that Britax may have another option that we can use available soon (this was in July).

Just curious on where everyone else stands on this issue?

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