Safe Transportation of Children in Ground Ambulances

Cartoon image of ambulance with text that says “ Ground ambulance standards and EMS safety rescue”

This collaborative effort advocates for improving the safety of children transported by ambulance through the creation of evidence-based standards. Such standards would ensure a safer environment for the patients who rely on the EMS provider to act on their behalf.


Establishing guidelines for safely transporting children in ambulances has been an endeavor undertaken by various individuals and organizations in recent years. Despite these efforts, this multi-faceted problem has not been easy to solve. While resources have been developed, such as the Working Group Best-Practice Recommendations for the Safe Transportation of Children in Emergency Ground Ambulances (NHTSA 2012), unanswered questions remain, primarily due to the lack of ambulance crash testing research specific to children.

What’s Happening Now

To bring these standards to reality, the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) established the Safe Transport of Children Ad Hoc Committee. In March 2017, NASEMSO issued interim guidance to help bridge the gap between the goal of safely transporting children and the reality of decisions that EMS providers face every day in the field. The interim guidelines provide immediate actions that can be taken by EMS practitioners to transport pediatric patients as safely as possible until more research and testing can be conducted to develop a larger evidence base.

Who’s Involved

The NASEMSO Safe Transport of Children Ad Hoc Committee includes several officials from state EMS for Children programs, as well as ambulance manufacturers, members of the pediatric medicine and EMS communities, and representatives of Federal agencies, including NHTSA.

What You Can Do

  • Review the interim guidance on the Safe Transport of Children in EMS and ensure that you and your organization are doing everything you can to keep pediatric patients safe.
  • Learn more about the NASEMSO Ad Hoc Committee.