WHY IS STANDING SO IMPORTANT?
We are all designed to stand. Normal development shows us that children go through certain processes in order to ultimately end up in a standing or upright position. This can happen as early as 9 months. Once on their feet children will display progressive evidence of gaining enhanced stability. Through cruising with furniture, using a push along devise or even supported to step by parents. Eventually through practice they will gain independence. Often between 12-18 months. In normal development this progression is seamless, thus we need to stop and think about how important being upright is.
When children display any disability that prevents normal gross motor development they will not progress onto their feet in such a seamless manner. This means they are prevented from weight bearing independently. It is therefore essential that we give them the ability to do this. Using aids such as specifically designed standing frames depending on their gross motor skills and postural abilities.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF STANDING?
Standing has been found to have both physiological and psychological benefits;
- Increases bone density and thus can reduce the risk of fractures
- Pro-longed stretch to muscles to help prevent against long term tightness
- Improves breathing function and helps with speech and voice control
- Enhances circulation and blood pressure
- Supports enhanced digestion, bowel function and bladder drainage
- Facilitates the formation of the hip joint
- Enables eye to eye interaction with peers
- Improves skin integrity by spending less time in sitting
- Improves well being, alertness and sleep patterns
TYPES OF STANDING FRAME
There are numerous types of standing frame that the therapists at PT Kids can support you in understanding. Essentially there are three configurations:
Some standers only support one configuration however others are able to support more than one. Decisions on what stander will be best to suit your child should be carried out in a multi-disciplinary way. Although standing is a key component to postural management, outcomes should be patient centred. Essentially one size does not fit all. There is no standing frame that suits a certain diagnosis better than another. It should be about best postural alignment, comfort and enablement.
How can PT Kids help?
We can assess your child’s development if they are slow or struggling to get up onto their feet. It could be that they just need some advice on developmental exercises to get them up and going.
If your child needs additional help, we can perform an assessment. Or advise on any specialist equipment may be required. We can work alongside your local health authority. With the aim of supporting you and accessing the equipment you need. Similarly, we can assist with charity funding applications for specialist equipment, such as standing frames.
If you have any question about how we could help please don’t hesitate to contact us.