Those are all risks that Martin said he doesn’t take lightly, and he admits that things can go very wrong if the device isn’t used properly. For example, if a restraint is very tight, it could limit the ability to breathe, or limit circulation to a child’s limbs.
Martin said that every doctor needs to follow the guidelines established by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry when deciding if a child needs to be restrained. That includes assessing a child’s developmental level, dental attitudes and temperament. Additionally, Martin said he will never use the papoose board without a parent’s consent.
Melissa Hartman, whose son C.J. is 8 and was trying out the papoose board, said she reassured her son and explained how the restraints work.
“I think, just a parent explaining it to him, to them, that, ‘You’re OK. It’s for your safety,' (helps)," Hartman said.
Martin said the papoose board can be very soothing for children on the autism spectrum. His best advice for parents is to come up with a treatment plan together with their dentist.