News Release

Friday, August 10, 2001

Contact: George Stinnett, CHKD, (757) 668-7043

Car Seat Loaner Program For Children With Special Needs Underway At CHKD

HAMPTON ROADS, Va.--A child safety seat program for children with unique health care needs is up and running at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters thanks to a corporately supported endowment fund established by Hall Auto World. The program, the only one of its kind in the region, loans specially made car safety seats to children leaving the hospital who need them to temporarily accommodate their medical condition, such as those recovering from surgery, disabling injuries or illnesses or those born extremely premature. "Because of certain health problems, not all children can ride in many of the car seats commonly found in stores," said Beth Duke, CHKD's senior vice president for community relations. "And car seats for children with special needs are often expensive. This is the first time a company has chosen to establish an endowment fund for CHKD, and the purpose of the fund couldn't be more appropriate or more needed." About a dozen different types of seats are available for loan to infants, toddlers and children through the hospital's department of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Specially trained physical and occupational therapists evaluate each candidate patient and determine the appropriate type of seat, fitting them specifically to each child. Among the seats available for loan are:
  • several types of infant car beds designed to provide children who were born extremely premature or who are medically fragile an alternative to a standard car seat.
  • Spelcast convertible seats that enable infants and toddlers with hip casts and other orthopedic devices to sit in a standard car seat.
  • belt-positioning booster seats to help toddlers and slightly older children (60-80 pounds) sit upright
  • larger seats specifically designed for children with cerebral palsy, poor head/neck control and various neuromuscular disorders.
  • restraint vests in a wide range of sizes and configurations for children who are not best protected by standard upright restraints or those who must ride lying down.
  • Standard infant convertible and booster seats.
  • The various seats and devices range in cost from around $30 to more than $500. Qualifying patients are loaned the seats free of charge. The new endowment at CHKD is called the Kenneth A. and Patricia Hall Endowment and was launched with a $107,800 contribution in January. Mr. Hall founded Hall Auto World in 1973, and the company has grown to encompass 26 automobile franchises and over 16 locations in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. "Initially, we planned to give the donation as a gift," said Thad Nowak, executive vice president of Hall Auto World. "But when we realized that the contribution from our November and December 2000 fund raiser on behalf of CHKD would be so large, we began to think in the long term and decided to establish an endowment fund so the money can continue to grow and benefit the hospital and the region's children into the future." For more information about this program, contact the Children's Health Line at (757) 668-7500 or E-mail: