Stair Lifts For Children
Children should also be seated comfortably when using a wheelchair or a seated stair lift. Such need is met by having cushions. Some cushions provide relief from pressure sores, which develop from constantly sitting. Adults are more prone to have pressure sores, but children must also be checked for signs of soreness. Some cushions provide postural support.
Children with disabilities have needs that may be different from those of adults. This means that the stair lift should have additional features to address such needs. The most obvious of these features is the size of the stair lift.
It should be smaller to accommodate the smaller frame of the child. But then, there should also be an allowance or a provision for adjusting the size since the child, even if disabled, is still capable of growing bigger.
Planning for the Future
To accommodate growth of the user, some mobility devices are modular, that is the parts can be moved and adapted to the height (and postural) changes of the child. Such adjustments can be done by an experienced therapist or a representative from the manufacturer.
This is ideal for children who cannot sit properly on their own. Such cushions have arm rests and additional base support. And some cushions are merely for comfort. These are often padded. A specialized cushion called wedge or sloping cushion, is needed when the child is prone to sliding off the seat.
The wedge cushion prevents the child from moving forward and falling off his seat. When a parent buys this type of cushion, he should check that when this cushion is placed, the arm rests and other features of the stair lift or wheelchair are still at a comfortable height for the child.
How to Make the Right Choice
When selecting any mobility device for a child, the physiotherapist who works with the handicapped child must be actively involved. The therapist can advise the parent or guardian on the correct posture of the child to aid the development of his head control and balance. This may also involve the attachment of a harness for the shoulder and chest. The harness or strap adds to the safety of the stair lift. If the child is quite active or restless, a lap strap might be a good idea.
The child need not be wholly dependent on his parent or caregiver in riding the stair lift. A joystick or control buttons are features that must still be present. But an assisting adult must be always present, holding his own remote to help or override the operation of the child.
If the child has a severe disability or has limited physical abilities, the seat should be customized so that it can provide support for the upper body. This specialized seat may be used both for a seated stair lift or a wheelchair.
More features may be needed depending on the unique needs of the child.