Kids need to be able to experience their childhood to the fullest. Some children who have heroically recovered from accidents or injuries, or children who are braving conditions they have had since birth, might benefit from pediatric prosthetics.
The majority of youngsters who can use prosthetics will be ready from the time they are able to stand without assistance. Every child is different and your child’s doctor will be able to tell you when your child is a prime candidate for a prosthetic limb.
The earlier a child receives a prosthesis, the better things will be. A child will grow and adapt to a prosthetic much sooner when they start at a young age. The learning or re-learning process is much simpler in young children, which makes a proactive approach important when it comes to a child who will need a prosthetic limb.
Selecting Age Appropriate Prosthetics
Certain prosthetic devices, legs in particular, are better suited for older children. Children who will need a prosthetic leg with a knee joint would do best waiting until the age of three or four years before obtaining a prosthetic leg with an unlocked knee joint. For bilateral amputations above the knee, it may be necessary to wait until a child is within school age before a prosthetic can be properly fitted.
Medical professionals and prosthetic providers are often able to come together to decide the best time to start. This is a process that requires a substantial amount of coordination between providers, parents and the child involved. It’s vital that all parties keep an open line of communication when it comes to the decision to start a child with a pediatric prosthetic.
Regularly Updating Prosthetics
Children grow quickly and this means that prosthetics will need to be adjusted or updated often. In order to keep prosthetics comfortable, sockets will need to be changed on a regular basis. Frequent adjustments will help your child grow with their prosthetic limb. With most children, replacement or major adjustment will be necessary approximately once a year. Some children will grow faster or experience unique health situations that warrant more frequent adjustments.
Selecting An Excellent Provider
Not every prosthetic limb provider is equipped to handle pediatric prosthetics. Children require a much higher level of care and a special set of considerations. Before you decide on a provider for your children, it is highly advisable to do as much research as you possibly can. You know your child deserves the best. Bring your child in to meet potential providers first, as introductions often make the process easier for children who may be shy.
Speak to a provider about the way they measure and adjust pediatric prosthetics. Make sure you can work with your provider for the long haul, because you will inevitably be seeing a lot of each other. Keeping things the same will be more comfortable for your child and easier for you. You’re less likely to experience gaps or transitions, and your child will always have consistent care. A provider who has watched your child grow is most likely to be able to help your child in the way he or she needs.