Child passenger safety: A question about the epistemic culture of occupational therapy.

Well.  I sometimes write the titles to my blog posts before I write the posts themselves.   That is what happened with this post, but now I am derailed but I am going to keep the title because it is still apt.

I just finished reading the June 3, 2013 issue of OT Practice.  The cover story is entitled 'On the Go: Safely Transporting Children with Special Health Care Needs.'  This is an excellent article, full of practical and relevant information about the topic.  The Riley Hospital for Children at the Indiana University School of Medicine has blazed this trail for years and years - and that fact bothered me because I could not understand why I was reading yet another article about child passenger safety as if it was the first article being written.  I totally appreciate the article; I just don't want to see any more calls arguing about HOW or WHY this is a legitimate area of concern.  I think it should be established by now.

That cause me to begin a search for all the other Child Passenger Safety articles I knew existed - many in our own literature.  I know there was a great AJOT article written by Dr. Bull and other Indiana University folks in the 1990s.  I thought I remembered an earlier article written about how to actually adapt a car seat for a child who had a spica cast.  Those were the old days - now commercial products are available and making adaptations is not recommended - but I wanted to show how places like Riley have been banging this drum for years and years.  I couldn't find that article - and I was starting to wonder if articles get purged from databases when they recommend things that we know we shouldn't be doing any more (like cutting car seats!).

Anyway, then I started thinking about Taube Korn and I was remembering an excellent article that she wrote in Pediatrics and I remember emailing with her about her guest editing an issue of the Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy on child passenger safety and on other topics we were both interested in.  Here I was thinking that I hadn't heard anything about Taube lately and it was a long time since I emailed with her and I found this blogger site that indicates she passed away in 2010.  Then I followed a few links and found this site which is from the hospital where she worked.

So I am derailed.

I was planning to engage a conversation about transfer of knowledge in the field and why we re-introduce topics over and over when they probably should be established in our practice.  Child passenger safety is not the only topic that we tend to do this with.  Hospice care is another great example.  Seminal work was done in the 1970s and 1980s but we still see articles popping up now and again arguing that OT has a legitimate role in hospice care.  That upsets me.

I think we honor Taube's work (and in the case of hospice we honor Kent Tigges and Bill Marcil) by starting to do a deep dive into this knowledge transfer problem that keeps us in a Groundhog Day cycle of reintroducing the topics over and over again.

But I am derailed, so I will argue another day.


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