Here are a few pearls for ensuring a proper fit.
Positioning the belt. Hip belts for children using wheelchairs are fitted by measuring across the body in the position and angle that most counteracts undesirable movement. In children, the most stable belt position is generally near the sub-ASIS notch (forward sides of the pelvis) and pulling either down or back to prevent high tone movements or anterior tilt. Low tone with posterior tilt and sliding can be addressed with a belt over the thighs.
Measuring the belt. Generally, padded length that is within 20% of the measured length is fine. The measuring tape should stretch around the body across all surfaces where the belt will touch.
We rarely see children three years old or more who measure less than 35cm, and children younger than three are more commonly seated in strollers than wheelchairs. Thus, most Bodypoint belts have 38cm of padded length or more.
However, there are two major exceptions that could call for a belt < 35cm:
- Extremely small children (typically two or three years old) with severe spasticity or orthopedic deformity
- Custom-fitted seating systems with high sides near the hips, where the belt touches the body only at the front (upper) surfaces of the pelvis or thighs. In many custom-fitted seating systems, the webbing ends of the belt must pass through narrow slots, too small for a pad to fit through. So a very short padded length is needed.
For the above situations, Bodypoint offers the S32 size (1" webbing, 32cm padded length) with features for small children:
- Secure buckles to prevent children from opening them (our XS Metal Push-Button and Swivel Buckle models)
- 2-point and 4-point padded center-pull styles (avoiding access issues with rear-pull models)
Please let us know your questions about our pediatric lines. We look forward to helping you strengthen a child's position!