A child in a wheelchair will have the same needs and wants as any other child. The only difference is that they may not be able to physically do what others can. This does not mean their curiosity and playfulness can’t still be catered to, and it certainly doesn’t mean their lives have to be any less comfortable than a child who is not in a wheelchair. With that in mind, here are just some of the many ways you can make life more comfortable for a child who uses a wheelchair.
Upgrade Your Vehicle
Children love to go out on day trips – there is so much to learn and experience, whether that day trip is something specifically educational, something just for fun, or something of each. However, it can be hard for a child in a wheelchair to experience this fun and education because it’s more complex to transport them to various places. The best thing you can do is to look at alliedmobility.com and look for a wheelchair-accessible car or van.
When you have the right vehicle, you and your child can go anywhere and do anything, experiencing life instead of making do with places you can reach on public transport, for example. This will open up the world to them and ensure they are much more comfortable, even on longer journeys.
Install A Wheelchair Ramp
When children are young, they may not mind being carried by their parents – they might even like it. However, as they get older, this isn’t something they will enjoy anymore, and they might even feel embarrassed about it. Not only that, but the older a child gets, the heavier they will be. If you have steps up to your home or out to the backyard, for example, your child will need help getting outside if they are in a wheelchair, and this is why we mention carrying them. At first, this won’t be an issue, but it can become a big problem as they get older, bigger, and want to be more independent.
If you have a wheelchair ramp installed, it’s no longer such a problem. The child will be able to come and go as they need to, and you won’t have to carry them. Ideally, you should have professionals install the ramp for you as it must be safe for the child to use, and that means measuring the angle and ensuring any turns are at least five feet square, for example.
Offer Stability In The Bathroom
If a child is embarrassed at having to be lifted and carried by their parents after a certain age, imagine how they will feel if they need help to use the bathroom. It’s far better to ensure the bathroom is entirely wheelchair-friendly, giving the child the independence they need and the privacy they require.
Some of the things you’ll need to consider in the bathroom include:
- Grab rails for the toilet and bathtub
- Moving faucets and knobs lower
- Ensuring there is enough space for a wheelchair to go in and turn around
- Installing a seat or bench within the tub or shower (or both)
When you have these elements in place, your child will be a lot more comfortable.