Head & Neck Positioning Considerations for Kids
As one might expect, proper head and neck positioning for pediatric clients is especially important to assist them with growth and learning.
“Proper head and neck positioning in pediatrics will reduce the chance of children growing into a posture that could require difficult correction or surgery during later years,” says Sam Hannah, ATP, Symmetric Designs.
In addition, improper head and neck positioning can impact learning, especially language learning, says Pete Cionitti, director of product management at Therafin Corp.
“A dropped head and lowered gaze will impact observation for both the learner and the teacher, and development can be delayed,” he says.
However, head and neck positioning is not necessarily more important for children.
“I think it is equally important for children and adults alike,” says Permobil’s National Clinical Education Manager Amy Morgan. “With kids — just like with adults with new injuries — we are trying to prevent poor posture from developing.”
The difference with pediatrics, however, is over-supporting the head and neck.
“The catch is — if we provide too much support all the time — they might rely solely on the supports provided and not develop the motor control to manage their posture on their own,” Morgan says. “It is a delicate balance.”
This article originally appeared in the Seating & Positioning Handbook 2015-2016 issue of Mobility Management.