CRT Technology Showcase

P Pod: Positioning Prowess in a Shape to Make Kids Smile

P PodEvery 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 agenda.

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.

Columbia Medical
(800) 454-6612

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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