Whether your child is born with a limb difference or experiences trauma that requires amputation, prosthetics can give them a lifetime of support.
A pediatric prosthetist’s job is to custom fit a prosthesis for your child that keeps them moving. Along with occupational therapists, psychologists, and pediatricians, they work with your family to help your child grow and thrive through each stage of life. Each child is special and unique, so their prosthesis will help them achieve their personal goals. As they grow, they may learn to do certain activities without their prosthesis, so it may be used only for sports and hobbies or something they grow to depend on daily. Whatever the case may be, with the bright future of this technology, there are prosthetic solutions that can meet their needs every step of the way.
Getting Fitted for Pediatric Prosthetics
Your team of health care providers for your child is now your support team. Moving forward, you will look to your prosthetist for regular consultation and adjustments as your child grows and develops.
In the first meeting, you and your child will discuss expectations with your prosthetist after receiving a prescription for a custom prosthetic device from their doctor. Your child will then be measured so the prosthetist can design and fabricate the prosthetic limb. Once the prosthesis is ready, you will come back in for a fitting and then your child will enter occupational therapy to learn how to use it. From then on, they will have all the support they need through regular check-ups with their prosthetist and sessions with their therapist.
Fight Bullying with Education and Support
It is important to establish a support network for your family and your children to help you transition and maintain normalcy in everyday life. While psychologists and religious communities are especially helpful, consider joining a peer support network so you and your child can communicate with other families experiencing the same concerns and share resources.
If your child attends school, you need to take the initiative to educate their educators about their condition before they enter the classroom. Encourage your child to talk openly about their feelings and ask questions so that you and their teacher are on the same page. Most children will experience some form of bullying, which means that you need to understand the warning signs. With the right support and the right prosthesis, they can more than keep up with their peers.
Remaining Active with Sports Prosthetics
The world of sports prosthetics continues to evolve in unique ways to help prosthesis wearers ride bikes, play sports, and run just like anyone else. This means despite their missing limb, your kid will still be able to just be a kid. If world-class athletes can use advanced prosthetics to compete in the Olympics, then your child can certainly look forward to participating in normal school-age activities and other sports they enjoy.
Newer developments in prosthetic science and engineering utilize power-assisted joints that ensure a perfect fit and more efficient movement. These joints are slowly becoming standard for above-knee amputees, so talk to your prosthetist about the possibility of using advanced pediatric prosthetics with your child.
The Bright Future of Prosthetic Technology
Pediatric prosthetics controlled by the brain and nervous system are right on the horizon. Connected using minimally invasive surgery, has shown that the lag between impulse and movement in these devices is almost the same as the imperceptible lag between impulse and action of a natural limb. With continued success, this prosthetic technology is expected to hit the market within the next three to five years.
If you are the parent or caregiver of a child who needs pediatric prosthetics in Arkansas, consult Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics. Call 501-683-8889 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced prosthetists who can help your child enjoy a future without limits.Download Prosthetics 101