Pediatric walkers are assistive devices that enable children with mobility disabilities to receive care at their home and community level.
Among the many mobility disabilities affecting children, cerebral palsy is the most common. Cerebral palsy is the umbrella term for disorders that affect an individual’s ability to move. This condition also affects a person’s posture and ability to maintain balance. The specific cause of this condition is not known.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in every 323 children living in multiple communities in the U.S. has cerebral palsy. A delay in movement goals like sitting, standing and walking could be a sign of cerebral palsy.
There is no cure for this condition. The World Health Organization recommends that the treatment for children with cerebral palsy should focus on the promotion of function.
Assistive devices like the pediatric walkers are often prescribed to children with cerebral palsy.
Here are the top reasons why the pediatric walkers are ideal for children with this condition:
- It prevents secondary impairments.
- It increases the developmental capabilities of the child.
A study by Peter Rosenbaum showed that the use of pediatric walkers may support early developmental capacities like the ability to move independently. The Rosenbaum study also showed that the perception that assistive devices make things easy for children will inhibit normal function is baseless.
Pediatric walkers are categorized based on the absence and number of wheels. Some pediatric walkers have two wheels (also known as front-wheeled); others have three and four wheels.
The front-wheeled type is designed for children who have weaker upper limbs. This type of walker promotes a forward displacement of the center of gravity.
The three-wheeled and four-wheeled pediatric walkers produce a natural gait pattern. The reason for this easy and smooth gait is that these devices easily roll and pivot with little effort.
Both the three-wheeled and four-wheeled types can be used indoors and outdoors. The three-wheeled type can easily be maneuvered indoors. The four-wheeled type, meanwhile, is ideal for outdoor use. The four-wheeled model also has a seat whereby the child can rest whenever he or she feels tired.