Many children live with disabilities which result in weak muscle tone and control, which can lead to difficulty in holding the head up straight and as a parent or carer it’s understandable you probably want to anything to help. Hypotonia in the neck and other parts of the body is known to be a symptom of many disabilities including cerebral palsy and many other neurological conditions.
Finding the right head and neck support is not something anyone should do without the advice and guidance of a professional, but we thought it was definitely worth looking at the options out there, as you may find something your healthcare team hasn’t yet come across. Below are six different head and neck support products on the market.
Rifton Activity Chair
The Rifton Activity Chair is described as a clinical positioning chair with an additional head rest is a great choice for environments such as schools and therapy centres where the chair isn’t in full time use. The head rests are contoured to provide support and comfort simultaneously and it can be adjusted from front to back and up and down. The chair is described as great for speech therapy, feeding and also for its versatility for use for a wide range of other activities.
Find out more here http://www.rifton.com/products/special-needs-chairs/rifton-activity-chairs
The GoTo Seat is a postural support which is designed for children between 1 and 5, with two different sizes available. The larger model for older children has an adjustable headrest as well as strong back support and leg supports and can be attached to any regular seat (with a back) allowing inclusion in family meals, days out and more. The GoTo Seat can even be attached to a supermarket trolley or bicycle seat, as this video shows:
Find out more about the Goto seat here http://www.fireflyfriends.com/goto-seat
We’ve chatted about the Snuggin Go before as it’s a product which really works. Rather than being a whole seat or whole seat support it is a simple memory foam based product which fits comfortably around the neck and shoulders of your child. It’s designed for children aged up to 5 and provides the extra support they may need, avoiding slumping which can lead to discomfort.
Snuggin Go Too is not readily available in the UK but can sometimes be found on Amazon >> Snuggin Go Too Child Positioner, Black by Snuggie
Chill Out Chair
There are no straps or restraints with the Chill Out Chair, as the company behind this product cite dignity and comfort as their two key reasons for opting for their chair. They have a patented deep V design which removes the needs for straps and the body can relax comfortably whilst being supported. It can be designed in a wide range of different colours and materials to suit the needs of the individual and more than that, find a fabric that suits for children who have sensory processing difficulties. There are also a range of accessories including trays but of course your Trabasack would work wonderfully too.
We are looking for UK stockists, please let me know if you find one. The US site is here http://chill-outchair.com/
The Headpod is a tried and tested design which has been specifically designed for hypotonia of the neck muscles. Headpod helps to build the neck muscles and reach the point where the hypotonia is much less pronounced or even a thing of the past. It’s a system which works through creating a vertical and natural positioning of the head through a supportive brace worn to the head. As this video shows it can make a huge difference to the wearer and help their neck develop over a period of time:
Again, it is the type of item which you should discuss with your care team or occupational therapist to see whether it would be a good choice for your child. The head pod website is here http://www.headpod.com/
As the name suggests the Tumble Forms Seat by NRS Healthcare was initially designed for feeding but it can be used for a wide range of purposes. It benefits from being plastic so easy to clean and is designed to be used with their floor sitter wedge. For short-term upright activity it provides all the support needed and is very easy to assemble and carry. They are on Amazon and available from our friends at Mobility Choices
Get some professional advice
There are many other head and neck supports on the market and it is important you find the one which suits your child best but these are a good example of what’s out there and perhaps something to mention at your next appointment!
The Trabasack team are extremely pleased and excited to announced the launch of their product, the Media Mount
The Media Mount is an extremely versatile and multifunctional mounting device that makes using your Trabasack play tray with your children even easier and it can even make your Trabasack an even better play tray than it was before. Despite being completely brand new, it’s already drawing in interest from Trabasaxons who have only positive things to say and it is an accessory for your Trabasack that one fan describes as ‘an excellent product, multi-functional & well thought out. It adds further functionality to the original Trabasack Connect without adding extra weight to it.’ With comments like this it’s clear to see the team can be proud of their new product and its place in the product range.
A Quick Look at the Media Mount
When reading the name, you might wonder how the Media Mount can be of use to you and your child for your Trabasack Sensory Play Tray. However, as mentioned, this product is extremely versatile and flexible and can be used in a number of ways. Designed to mount any device from an iPad to a musical Skoog (both pictured) you can see how the Media Mount holds these items perfectly in place for use by your child, with or without support. The Media Mount is made of hook and loop receptive material and is equipped with a velcro strip alongside so it fits closely to your Trabasack’s Connect Surface. What’s more the grab handles are large and make manoeuvring and positioning the new accessory even more straight forward.
The Media Mount and your Sensory Play Tray
Incorporating the Media Mount into your sensory play time is very easy and it can be a great of ensuring more enjoyment and development can be had whilst enjoying the session. For example, the Media Mount can act as a barrier at the edge of your Trabasack ensuring the hand positioning and movement is kept to the specific tray area or it can be used to held a particular object in place so it can be used more easily.
If you’re using bottles as music makers for example, you could position them securely with the Media Mount and then enjoy the play time without worrying about them going missing or being knocked over. Every day our customers are coming up with new uses for the Media Mount and as its been produced under the Design for All concept, we are sure that it can be manipulated for whatever particular needs you have in mind.
We’ve received positive feedback from Technical Specialist for SpecialEffect Charity and founder of OneSwitch.co.uk, Barrie Ellis who described it as a ‘brilliant implementation, I really love it’ and we agree completely with his comments and believe you could use your Media Mount in any number of ways to enhance and enjoy sensory play time.
At £19.95 it is a low cost way of mounting switches and special education toys, please send us your pics for a free gift!
HappyPee – the friendly potty training and travel aid
We like to help and support other retailers with the same aims and values as ourselves. Disabledgear.com is a social enterprise that helps people resell and recycle expensive disability equipment to those who need it.
Guy also imports new products that people cannot get find elsewhere. HappyPee is one such product requested on a facebook forum for Special Needs Equipment. HappyPee is a unisex portable potty training aid. This portable urinal is a great invention for when your child is first learning how to control their bladder and understand how toileting works.
HappyPee is designed to be funny and entertaining to help aid the potty training process and to support your child in their potty training adventure. The funny cartoon design is included to help children enjoy the learning experience involved in toilet training, rather than feeling anxious or scared about the experience. It is a huge milestone in their development and whatever age they are, it’s important to keep pressure and stress away from the situation. It’s a great tool for supporting your child with additional needs if they’re caught short or in a situation where it isn’t suitable to use the regular toilet.
The other great thing about HappyPee is that it’s portable, meaning you can keep one in your car to avoid little accidents in case of emergencies. When your children are young it can be unsettling and stressful to use public toilets, which can also be unsanitary, therefore a HappyPee can be a great way of keeping the stress levels down. Its concertina design means it can be folded down for easy storage and another plus point is that your child can use their HappyPee in the car which also protects their privacy.
The HappyPee Portable Urinal may look like a males-only product but this isn’t the case. It was ergonomically designed with girls in mind too so all children should be able to use it with ease. So if you have ever had the stressful experience of the kids being ‘caught short’ stuck on the motorway, then you will know what we mean! To purchase, just pop over to buy a Happypee portable urinal at DisabledGear.com and place your order. You will also be helping to support the DisabledGear.com free listings for 2nd hand disability equipment, a great social enterprise that reuses and recycles.
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Snuggin Go Too – the versatile support for your child.
If you have a child who suffers from health conditions or a disability which means they have difficulty holding their head up, Snuggin Go Too is the answer. Our friend and online retailer DisabledGear.com has decided to import this product after demand from parents on a Special Needs Equipment Swap Group on Facebook.
The Snuggin Go Too, a new product for the UK market, is an extremely supportive infant positioner. As the picture shows, the Snuggin Go Too is designed to support your child’s head in position to stop them from slumping forward, which can be extremely dangerous for disabled children. Trabasack creator’s Duncan and Clare Edwards have a son with Dravet Syndrome, and this ‘slumping’ often caused thier son to have seizures.
With the Snuggin Go Too your child’s head is supported fully which allows for improved posture, comfort, safety and of course, breathing.
It may look like a simple design but in fact the Snuggin Go Too is very intricately designed to support your individual child. Its memory foam neck and shoulder support system glides in a way which allows customisation to your child’s height and it also gently pushes the chest area forward which allows the head to sit neutrally in any chosen seating product including high chairs and car seats. The Snuggin Go Too is also the only infant positioning support which comes with an optional leg rest which can be beneficial in stopping your child from slouching or slipping down their seat.
The Snuggin Go Too is fully adjustable for children from 12 months up to 5 years which means it can be great for older children with additional needs. It is especially beneficial for children with a range of different health problems and conditions. If your child has airway difficulties, this support is essential as it works to keep your child’s airway in the neutral position. It is also supports children with scoliosis as it can help improve the position of the spine which in turn can help to minimise the respiratory problems that come from extreme spinal curvature. Further lumbar support can be added for those who also have lower spine curvature.
The Snuggin Go Too is also a great option for children who favour holding their head to one particular side (torticollis). The head support keeps the head cradles securely which helps maintain its shape and reduces risk of flat spots (plagiocephaly). It can also be used for children who wear reshaping helmets or who have conditions such as hydrocephalus to support their head position when they’re using seating products.
The Snuggin Go Too is a great way of involving your child in all family meal and fun times. You can use it in the high chair so you can comfortably and securely enjoy meals together and retro-fit strollers are available for children who are wheelchair dependent.
The item is extremely user friendly and can make a big difference to your child’s daily life. It is available in two colours from DisabledGear.com , Snuggin Go Too infant head support will really help the comfort of your child.
This video shows how easy your Snuggin Go Too is to clean and reassemble:
Using Hook Tape with your Trabasack
There are many great uses for your Trabasack and when you’re using it for sensory play or as an entertainment mount for your child’s toys and consoles, you must make use of the fantastic hook tapes which you can buy from the Trabasack website.
If you are the owner of a Trabasack with Connect surface, you’ll already be aware that the soft tray top means you can easily secure devices to it without having to worry about them sliding off. The easiest and safest way of connecting toys and devices to your Trabasack is with Trabasack’s own hook tape.
Why use hook tapes?
Hook tape is basically like Velcro and comes with stick on backing. You get 120cms of self adhesive backed tape, in four handy 30cms lengths. With hook tapes you can secure any device to your Trabasack Connect surface and it’ll remain safe. If your child is a film fan, you can safely secure their DVD player, if you’ve put together a fantastic sensory play scenario, again, you can use hook tapes to ensure all elements stay safe and in place.
Travelling securely with your Trabasack using Hook Tapes
Hook tape is great for when you’re out and about because you can secure whatever entertainment device your child wants to play with safely to the tray top and it’ll remain safe as you go over lumps and bumps and even remains in place if you go up and down ramps on and off buses and trains.
The hook tapes can also be great if your child uses their Trabasack in school. Where portable computers, switches and communication aids are used they can easily be stuck into place and used easily throughout the school day and simply removed at the end of it.
The great thing about the Trabasack Connect is its versatility and this versatility is improved tenfold if you make use of fantastic hook tapes whether you’re playing, relaxing or learning.
- International Dravet Syndrome Awareness Day 2015
- Six Neck and Head Support Options for your Child
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- Sensory Stories for Children and Teens – The Book!
- What to Pack for your Child’s Hospital Stay
- How to make your own Sensory Wall
- Homemade Mirror Cube Sensory Toy
- Join Trabasack and Active Hands at Kidz in the Middle
- Sensory Play at Naidex National 2014
- Festive Christmas Apps for Kids