For parents attempting to choose a paediatric walker for their child, they would encounter a multitude of challenges. This stems from a lack of understanding of their child’s condition, the product as well as comprehending the dynamic between child and walker. This is why experts in the field have introduced a simple clinical classification system, the GMFCS, to assist parents attain a generally acceptable paediatric walker for their child.
Introducing the GMFCS
The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) is a five-level clinical classification system that concentrates on the voluntary movements of children with cerebral palsy (CP), with specialized focus on walking and sitting. It can be a general guide for the kind of movement tool to be taken into consideration.
For GMFCS Levels of 2 and 3 paediatric walkers are normally considerably suitable for assistance. GMFCS Levels of 4 or 5 will require more sophisticated gait trainers and standers to accomplish standing posture and some degree of mobility.
Types of Frame Configurations
Typically, there are 3 usual primary arrangements which can be identified for the common walker frames on the market:
The frame remains in front of the kid, like a rollator for elders. These tools are simple to engage. Their use appears rather natural, particularly for children who adopt a forward leaning posture throughout walk, considering that it will stabilise the forward momentum.
However, these types of walkers can have a tendency to reinforce that stance, which can come with the detriment of balance and turning capability.
The posterior walkers with the structure around the kid from behind. They are a bit harder to transfer into. Yet, this setup normally brings about a more correct upright position and allows the specialist to teach good pose using cues from body contact with the structure or parts of the walker.
A more upright stance induced by this type of walker also bolsters manoeuvrability. Enhancing the support with armrests is rather straightforward for these frame setups. The Voyar FROG is a posterior walker which features an armrest option.
Complete Frame Walker
These models are frequently hybrids enabling posterior or anterior settings with a great deal of adaptability to reconfigure for assistance with harness components and saddles. They have a great degree of flexibility to fit the individual’s posture and offer support and additional features for more essential situations.
Hands-free walkers additionally are under this configuration. They contribute to arm swing and trunk turning in addition to increased participation and inclusion. However, for children with spasticity versions with arm rests will enable them to loosen up more and walk steadier.
Full structure walkers tend to be likewise larger, heavier and more expensive. When such high levels of adjustability, customisability and assistance are needed in function of the mobility obstacle of the kid, they are the right selection.