For young children with disabilities or limited mobility, a wheelchair makes a big difference in their lives. They are no different from their peers—they can still participate in activities within the safety and comfort of their chairs.
Parents can invest time and resources to equip their children with the best assistance. When it comes to choosing the wheelchair, information gathering is part of the process that helps the family find the right fit. Depending on the diagnosis, however, some parents have more time before the doctors’ recommendation for a wheelchair.
Whatever the situation is, it pays to know more about your child’s first wheelchair: from the type to the right batteries, parents need to know the following:
The right paediatric wheelchair should allow different positions for your child; otherwise, they would not feel comfortable. It should allow lying, sitting and standing during the day without hampering their comfort. It should also serve as an extension of your child’s body; it should be a single component that comes with a support program designed to meet your child’s needs.
A complete assessment of your child’s needs is important to determine the best chair for your child. Medical professionals can accomplish this part, but as the parent, you also have to keep the following considerations in mind:
- The child’s physical abilities and functional skills
- Ability to control their upper and lower extremities
- Posture support
- Appropriate mobility controls
Management and Care
The acquisition of a wheelchair should also bring logistics into mind. Issues such as wheelchair maintenance, storage and transportation require careful thought from the family. Your doctor can help you address the issue with support and assistance; healthcare team members can also offer education on incorporating the wheelchair in your daily routine.
When it comes to your child’s first wheelchair, timing matters. Parents must gather information in a prompt manner to meet all of their child’s needs. Talk with your doctor today to learn about your options.