CRT Technology Showcase
P Pod: Positioning Prowess in a Shape to Make Kids Smile
- By Laurie Watanabe
- Jul 01, 2016
Every once in awhile, a product transcends its primary
functional goals and makes a grab for your heartstrings.
That argument can certainly be made for P Pod, a system that
offers seated postural support in a kid-friendly design.
Columbia Medical began showing the chair at events earlier this
year, including February’s American Physical Therapy Association
Combined Sections Meeting in Anaheim, Calif. The reaction of
physical therapists there was typical of how P Pod has been
received thus far.
Therapists attracted to Columbia Medical’s booth by P Pod’s
exuberant colors first circled the little seating system in wide-eyed
wonder. They would start by reaching out to touch and pat it, but
ended up practically cuddling it.
With its disarmingly roly-poly shape, P Pod conjures up the cozy
comfort of an old-school beanbag chair. But beyond its brightly
appealing colors and soft textures, P Pod has an impressive positioning
Better Than a Beanbag
Beanbag chairs, of course, have long been used as alternative
seating when kids are out of their wheelchairs. The immersive
abilities of beanbags can offer a higher level of postural support
than typical furniture.
But traditional beanbags have their limits, especially for children
with high-level postural needs. For these kids, optimal positioning
choices beyond their wheelchairs are fewer and harder to find. And
finding proper positioning that is also attractive, fun and socially
inviting is even more difficult.
Enter the P Pod.
Audrey List, MPT, was one of the first clinicians to try out P Pod in
the United States.
“I feel it’s important for children and parents to have the
option of alternate seating that maintains postural support,”
List said, “because postural support is so important for maintaining
joint alignment, preventing contractures, and helping
with developing proper bone structure, which ultimately can
only help a child when they start to roll, crawl, sit and stand.
Additionally, I feel that parents need other options besides the
floor or a car seat to put their child during the day, and the P Pod
offers that option.”
While the P Pod’s rather adorable appearance is what first
draws people’s attention, this system has thoroughly ambitious
positioning goals. A bolster helps to provide more upright or
more “relaxed” positioning. A flip-over headrest supplies additional
head support. The seating system attaches securely to the
black beanbag base via heavy-duty hook and loop attachments.
Columbia Medical is offering P Pod in five sizes to accommodate
users of all ages and sizes.
This great flexibility makes P Pod an ideal seat for a variety of
activities, from watching movies to participating in story times,
playing with siblings or just hanging out with pals.
“The height of the P Pod is optimal because the child is able to
be at the level of the couch where other children, parents or siblings
in the house may be sitting to watch TV or just interact with each
other,” List noted. “This enables social development for the child.”
Capturing Hearts & Minds
Of course, seamlessly fitting into family life also requires practicality
and ease of use.
List said P Pod’s colorful, quilted velour cover “is easy to take off
and wash. Durability is another asset: The P Pod never looks worn
out, even with heavy use.”
P Pod also has the ability to roll with the schedules and multiple
environments of active families: “P Pod is easily transportable, such
as up and down the steps in the house,” List said. “And it can go in
the car easily.”
But possibly P Pod’s greatest success is creating much-needed
postural support in a design that’s so captivating, it looks right at
home anywhere in the house.
“It is important for the P Pod to be attractive and inviting
because you want the child to like it,” List said. “You also want to
make it fun for the other children that will be around the child in
the P Pod.”
The chair’s considerable sociability quotient might seem of
secondary importance compared to its positioning features, but
as every pediatric seating & mobility specialist knows, making the
child and parents feel good about early intervention is a great deal
of the battle.
“The impact this has,” List said, “is that it makes the family more
willing to use it if it is colorful and inviting and allows the child to
feel like a ‘big kid’ and part of the social scene at almost eye level
when company comes to visit.”
Postural support and growability in a shape that makes both
kids and grown-ups smile? That could make P Pod priceless.
This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of Mobility Management.
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.