The child’s mobility and independence are significant factors to consider so it is important to get the right wheelchair. But how do we choose the right wheelchair?
Choosing a wheelchair for your kids include a huge spectrum of issues. One the issue is transportation. A lot of kids will benefit from a power chair but unless the transportation issue can be solved, it won’t be the precise solution. If you are lifting your kid and the chair several times a day, chances are he may develop back problems. The remedy to this is to choose a lighter chair with removable hardware.
Other issues involve lifestyle, terrain and environment. Ask yourself the following questions: is the chair suitable for the school setting, what are his needs according to the experts, and what kind of chair does your child like the most. When you inter-relate these question you can figure out, what he basically needs.
The most practical kind of chair for your child is that which can ‘grow with the child’. It is all about one-size-fits-all. Most of the wheelchairs today can be expanded by changing the cross brace supports at the bottom. It can also be lengthened by replacing the front frame sections that hold the leg supports. It is an investment that will last 10-12 years.
Another critical decision that you should make is the choice of the cushion and its spacing. It must be not too soft and not too course in order for the child to be comfortable. There should be no more than three fingers worth of space between the front and the rear of the legs. More than this measure, the seat will not provide enough support to the thighs. It may also dig into the legs. Another result is that it may make sitting awkward because the child don’t get the same amount of surface holding you up.
Aside from the aforementioned, the footrest should also be low enough to get full contact for the whole thigh. Half an inch from the hips and the side of the chair is necessary to achieve the desired spacing. The laterals need not be too tight to dig into the armpits.
In addition, regular maintenance should be observed. Wheelchairs should be washed and sprayed with a cleaner. A meticulous check up of the whole chair once a week would be a great idea. You can check the brakes, hardware, tires and seats in order to be secure of your child’s safety and protection.