Peds: Seeing Little Ones’ Bigger Picture

Seeing the “bigger picture” among many seating system details can be even more challenging when working with young clients.

“Growth is going to be a factor there,” says Jay Doherty, OTR, ATP/SMS, Quantum Rehab’s clinical education manager. “When a child does grow, they may not have the same protection around the bony areas, because they’ve stretched out more. You do have to look at things like skin protection, especially as they’re getting heavier. You have to look at the way they’ve grown, and does that seat cushion still meet their needs?”

But ATPs should keep in mind, as they’re building a system that meets the funding source’s demands for growability, there are other concerns that should be considered.

Says Lois Brown, MPT, ATP, rehab clinical education specialist, Invacare Corp.: “We try to provide chairs that, due to funding, kids can grow into. But often, the kids are positioned too high above a large wheel and cannot reach for propulsion. This creates poor postural tendencies as they lean forward to reach for the wheel, and creates stretch weakness of the trunk muscles and subsequent injury.”

This article originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Mobility Management.

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