Skip to main content

When & why

does my child need a pediatric wheelchair?

At first glance, not every child with a disability needs a special pediatric wheelchair.
What matters is whether this pediatric wheelchair helps the child take part in life and interact with other people.

Very often, it is not easy to transport children with a disability in a standard wheelchair. These wheelchairs do not offer enough support, so that the child “droops” in the wheelchair and can not sit or lie down stably and safely in it. With the help of a pediatric wheelchair’s positioning aids – such as cushions, a headrest, a high back and upper body belts – the child gets support and stability when sitting upright. Postural damage is avoided as early as possible and a therapeutically correct sitting position can be set.

The first contact with aids

Quite often, a pediatric wheelchair is one of the first aids to be used, even if the actual diagnosis has not yet been made or is still unclear. Therefore, many parents are still unfamiliar with the issue of care using aids. Pediatricians and medical suppliers nearby can help in the selection and supply the appropriate aid.

Children with special needs

Because of their disability, such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), some children need to be transported while lying down some or all of the time. Commercial wheelchairs do not offer this possibility for older children. This is where a pediatric wheelchair is used, in which the seat can be converted into a surface on which the child can lie down. Furthermore, medical equipment such as an oxygen tank or an aspirator can be placed on a special shelf under the seat.

Older children

A pediatric wheelchair can also be used for older children if the child can not operate a wheelchair by him- or herself or is already too big for a standard wheelchair. Even children who can walk on their own for shorter distances despite their disability – such as cerebral palsy with mental retardation – still need a pediatric wheelchair to rest or as a place to recover. This is provided by, for example, a slightly reclining position for resting or a roof as a shield against environmental stimuli.

Everybody wins

Last but not least, the “right” pediatric wheelchair encourages interaction with family and friends, and thus participation in everyday life – improving the quality of life for both child and parent.