When a child with DDH is in a harness, cast or wheelchair, it is highly likely you will need to make some changes to the equipment in your home to make sure they are as comfortable and mobile as possible.
Our advice is not to buy everything immediately but to wait until your child has had their treatment so you can see the angle and position of their harness or cast.
Beanbags and Pillows
For many, a beanbag, or two, is a spica lifesaver. Today there is a wide range of products on the market with retailers like Amazon, Argos, Dunelm Mill and John Lewis.
The Doomoo seat is an adaptable, multi-functional beanbag that is suitable from birth up to 30kg. The combination of micro balls and an extra soft stretch material, mean these flexible beanbags are soft and malleable making them perfect for harnesses and casts. They come in a range of colours and either a dream cotton or fleece finish and are machine washable at 30°C. They have an adjustable three-point harness and there is also an additional arch you can buy, which is great for keeping babies alert and occupied. Doomoo also sells multi-functional cushions that could be helpful for comfortable breast-feeding and sitting positions. Prices start at around £100 and details can be seen at www.doomoo.be
The Bambeano beanbag has a lower price point at around £45. This model molds to the shape of your child’s body and allows them to be fully supported in a semi-upright position so they can see the world around them. It is light, so easy to take from room to room, as well as convenient for popping in the car if you are visiting people. Details can be seen at www.bambeano.co.uk
Some parents find the Poddle Pod very helpful. This weight activated snuggle nest is made of hypo allergenic, anti-fungal hollow-fibre filling and covered in 100% cotton. The Pod is not only comfortable, but breathable too and is a perfect resting place for a child in a spica. Details can be seen at www.poddlepod.com
V v-pillows provide additional support and make your child comfortable and can be found at Argos, Amazon, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and many other retailers at reasonable prices.
Depending on the setting of your cast and comfort of your child, you can use wedges to help them settle. Many come at an 11º angle to retain the body’s natural posture and shape. They can help relieve pain and aches and offer comfort and relief and Amazon and www.betterlifehealthcare.com are good places to find these.
Buggies and Prams
If you find you need a new pushchair, one of the best ideas is to go to a large John Lewis or Mothercare and try out models on display. Popular models include:
- Baby Jogger City Mini
- Babyzen YoYo Stroller
- Bugaboo Frog
- Emmaljunga Twin Nitro double buggy
- Graco Ugo
- Jane Pro
- Mamas and Papas Armadillo
- Mamas and Papas Luna
- Mamas and Papas Sola
- Mamas and Papas Urbo
- Maclaren Major Elite Pushchair
- Maclaren Techno XT
- Micralite Fastfold Superlite Stroller
- Mothercare Nanu Stroller
- Silver Cross Pop
- Phil & Teds (my personal success story)
- Quinny Xtra
You can buy the seats and buggies at most major retailers and online but it might be worth seeing if family, friends or second hand sites (eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, etc) have one for sale.
You may find that your child’s cast won’t allow them to sit in their normal high chair but other options that are popular include:
- Chicco Happy Snack Highchair
- Chicco Polly Highchair
- Nuna Zaaz
- Stokke Tripp Trapp
Travel highchairs can be a cost-effective solution for aiding life in a spica cast and products worth looking at include:
- JoJo Super Lightweight Pocket Highchair
- The Munchkin
- Polar Gear Baby Booster Seat
- The Tot Seat
For older and bigger children, a wheelchair will probably be required.
The ‘Chunc’ offers a post-operative mobility solution for children and young people in hip spica casts. The leg supports and backrest can fit the most awkward position created by those clever doctors and it allows continued participation in social, educational, home and therapy environments. This is not a cheap option but a sanity saver for many and can be rented for the duration of the cast time plus it looks pretty cool so don’t worry too much about stares. Full details can be seen at www.chunc.com
Your hospital ward and the Red Cross can also help with more general wheelchairs so do speak to them ahead of any surgery so it is ready.
We are always adding information, so if you have something that works for your child, drop us a line and let us know.