Adjustment possibilities & functions of pediatric wheelchairs
Once you have selected a pediatric wheelchair, the question as to the accessories arises. True to the motto “as little as possible, but as much as necessary”, it is important that the accessories support the movement potential of the child and that his or her existing capabilities are not limited.
Pelvis belt – easy positioning of the pelvic region
This runs horizontally across the child’s groin and then down and to the rear. Children who can maintain a pretty good seating position are sufficiently protected by this. Many pediatric wheelchairs have a pelvis belt as standard equipment. While the 2-point pelvis belt provides an easy, secure hold, the 4-point pelvis belt is also attached on the bottom on each side. This provides extra retention when sitting.
Soft pelvic harness – padded positioning aid for the pelvic region
In addition to providing cushioned positioning for the pelvis, this allows the thighs at the hip joint to spread a little. This improves posture and prevents the child from crossing his or her legs. The two belt loops run from the center to the right and left over the groin or thigh, with the tension down and to the rear.
Abduction block – for positioning the thighs
In this case, “abduction” means spreading the thighs at the hip joint. If a child needs such abduction, this can be achieved by a sitting aid – the abduction block – between the child‘s knees. At the same time, it prevents the child from crossing his or her legs, which is not desired. By the way, an abduction block is not a “brake chock” to prevent the child from slipping forward. It is attached at knee level, not at the level of the thigh. The stable seating position is maintained with a soft pelvic harness or a pelvis belt.
Waistcoat – padded positioning aid for the trunk or torso
A waistcoat is used to provide additional support. It provides a secure hold in the lateral trunk area, in the forward trunk area, and in the shoulder area. The waistcoat can be easily opened in front and is easy to put on and take off.
Lateral trunk supports – lateral support in the upper body (chest)
The supports are attached on either side of the child’s torso. This keeps the child stable; nevertheless, he or she can freely and actively move their arms. The height and width of the lateral trunk supports can be individually adjusted to the child.
Headrests – additional support for the head
Depending on the diagnosis, it can happen that the child can not hold his or her head by themselves. To keep the child‘s head from falling or slipping to the side, as well as the resulting injuries, headrests are used. The selection ranges from a simple head pillow to head supports that are adjustable in three dimensions and that securely hold and protect the child’s head.
Weather / privacy screen – protects against the weather and overstimulation
Sun, wind, rain, cold – anyone traveling outside needs protection to avoid colds or sunburn, for example. A place to retreat is important for children who have difficulty dealing with external influences such as large crowds or noise due to a cognitive disorder. Under a screen, they feel safe and can rest.