FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Everything else you should know about pediatric wheelchair.
Why do I have to take the maximum allowable weight of the child into account?
Please pay attention to the maximum allowable body weight (load capacity) when using a pediatric wheelchair. You can find this information in the user manual or on the type label on the chassis of the pediatric wheelchair. If the rehab stroller is overloaded, fasteners could break, possibly leading to the child falling out of the stroller. Moreover, the risk that the stroller could tip over increases. Keep in mind that the load capacity of the chassis includes the weight of not only your child, but also the contents of basket, the storage tray or bags.
Does a pediatric wheelchair increase a child’s mobility?
Children for which a standard stroller is not suitable can still actively take part in day-to-day and family life in a rehab stroller. Pediatric wheelchairs provide your child with an optimal position in order to experience their surroundings better or to withdraw and rest when needed. In addition, short shopping trips and even long strolls can be accomplished together without problems.
Is our pediatric wheelchair safe?
Safety must be demonstrated by the manufacturer using many tests. Only after it has passed these tests can a rehab product receive a CE label and – for example in Germany – be listed with an aid number in the lists of aids published by statutory health insurance providers. If the aid is to be made available worldwide, even more tests are required in many countries. The pediatric wheelchair may be used only when these have been passed.
Who can make modifications and custom-made products for the pediatric wheelchair?
Modifications can only be performed by trained personnel in appropriate institutions or, for example, by orthopedic technicians at a specialist dealer.
How many years can a pediatric wheelchair be used?
Pediatric wheelchairs are suitable for re-use. This means that your health insurance company may provide you with a used pediatric wheelchair. But pediatric wheelchair are subject to extraordinary stresses. Correct use and regular maintenance extend the service life of your pediatric wheelchair. Your local specialist rehab dealer can provide you with precise information on the degree of use of your pediatric wheelchair.
When does starting to use a pediatric wheelchair make sense?
This varies from child to child and can not be generalized. Basically, however, it can be said that switching to a pediatric wheelchair is a good idea at the latest when the range of functions and/or the size of a standard stroller are no longer sufficient.
Can we as parents adjust the pediatric wheelchair ourselves if our child had a growth spurt?
If you notice that your child has grown and is no longer sitting well in the pediatric wheelchair, you can change the basic settings yourself. Here are a few general rules: The upper edge of the backrest should be at the same height as the crown of the child’s head; when the child is sitting, there should be a gap approximately two fingers wide between the front seat and the hollows of the knees. For more complex adjustments, your child’s therapist or your local specialist retailer will be happy to advise you.
Can a pediatric wheelchair be used as a precursor to a wheelchair for children?
If the child will be able to move the wheelchair on their own later and if he or she has the necessary overview and awareness of risk to steer the wheelchair, a pediatric wheelchair is suitable as a precursor. For intense hypotonia (“limp” child) or tetraspasticity, however, a wheelchair will often not be an option. One advantage of a pediatric wheelchair over a wheelchair is that, if it has a screen or similar protection, it offers a retreat for children when environmental stimuli sometimes become too much. With a rehab stroller, children who can walk very short distances on their own are motivated to do so rather than to push themselves forward.
Why should I use swiveling front wheels with a steering lock?
The swiveling front wheels of the pediatric wheelchair make it very maneuverable so that it can be easily maneuvered even in a very small space. If the stroller is traveling over rough terrain, the front wheels are to be locked, which makes steering and pushing easier for the caregiver.
Can I use the abduction block to prevent my child from sliding forward?
The abduction block should not be used like a “brake chock”! It is attached at knee level, not at the level of the thigh. Firstly, it is painful, especially for little boys; secondly, spasticity can increase if the abduction block is incorrectly positioned. If the child often slips forward on the seat, a pelvis belt or a soft pelvic harness is used to keep the child in a good sitting position.
I want my child to experience his or her surroundings even while lying down and not just stare at the clouds. How can I help the child?
On the pediatric wheelchair, set a combination of seat tilt and adjustment of the backrest to the rear. In this way, the child lies relatively flat and the head is supported; the child can still look to the sides.
What should I pay attention to if the pediatric wheelchair is to be used as a seat in a vehicle?
Not every pediatric wheelchair is suitable as a seat in a motor vehicle and is approved by the manufacturer. It is very important that you take this into account when selecting a pediatric wheelchair. Frequently, rehab strollers are available in two versions: the “Crash” version with attachment points for attachment in a vehicle, and the standard version, which is not equipped or approved for vehicle use.
Why can my full shopping bags be dangerous for my child in the pediatric wheelchair?
It frequently happens that full (shopping) bags are hung on the push bars of strollers. Unfortunately, the parents do not take into account that this increases the risk of tipping immensely. In particular, bags attached to the push bars hang significantly higher than the center of gravity of the stroller; moreover, they are hanging a great distance away from the center of gravity. For the safety of your child, you should therefore always store your shopping or similar items in the storage bags / baskets provided by the manufacturer; you absolutely must also take the maximum load capacity into account.