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Patient Resources

Fashionable and Safe - Protective Helmets for Children and Adults

Families often ask for suggestions on protective helmets for children and adults who have seizures. Member Elizabeth Rutherford of Canada has done a search on behalf of her adult sister and gave us information on the Danmar Full Coverage Helmet

On double checking, we found that this helmet and a wide variety of others can be found on

They seem to cover all conditions and give a good description of the function and uses of helmets for many conditions.


Harnesses for Airline Flights

Linda Cohen of NYC has given us much valuable information on a harness that she has used when flying on an airline with her son.  It is usually only for children up to a weight of 44 lbs – 40 inches but an exemption can be made.   Look at

Linda says if your special needs child is over the weigh/height limitation for which CARES is currently certified, and your child’s medical advisor thinks CARES is an appropriate restraint, you can request an exemption from current regulations from the FAA so that you can use it.  The special needs youngster who is granted this exemption will be seated in the last row of a section of the plane, so no one who  might brace against the seat will sit behind the child The FAA exemption will be valid on all US airlines.  You can request an exemption on line, or contact Nancy Claussen at for more information


What did you get for Christmas?

If earrings were on the Wish List, this might be helpful. 

Q: Is there a risk of having your earlobe that has a port wine birthmark on it, pierced?  What about the upper part of the ear?  And what about other body piercings?

A: (from several of our dermatology consultants)

Earlobes with birthmarks will bleed more, and for that reason the piercings should be done in a doctor’s office.  Piercing elsewhere should not make a difference. (R. Geronemus, MD)

Probably only a very, very low risk of complications from piercing within a port wine stain.  The ear in an unaffected area would have no higher risk.   Nose and lip piercing is tricky.  It might be more concerning with lip piercing, as there can be thickening from the PWS independent of the piercing.  (L.Eichenfield, MD) 

There is some risk of having any earlobe pierced.  The area can become infected or you can develop an allergy to the metal.  While this can happen to anyone, the risk of infection may be somewhat higher in someone who has a vascular birthmark in the area.  The risk of other piercings is higher than the risk for the ear lobe.  This is especially true for the upper ear where the cartilage is pierced and sometimes there can be a serious infection.  (K.Kelly,MD)

So a word to the wise teen or parent.  Do not get ears pierced at the Mall, or do not try to do it yourself.  Seek a dermatologist.