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Travel Tips for Traveling with Kids & Assistive Devices

✈️ As you travel, here’s some helpful tips for traveling with your child’s assistive devices.

✅ Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) makes it illegal for airlines to discriminate against passengers because of their disability. What does that mean?
▶️ Walkers/Gait Trainers can be checked for free at ticketing OR the gate. They don’t count as luggage!
▶️ Wheelchairs can be checked for free at ticketing OR the gate.
▶️ Strollers can be checked for free. They don’t count as luggage!
▶️ Children that wear braces like SMOs and AFOs can keep them and their shoes on to walk through TSA.
👩‍💻 For more information you can visit the government website at  https://www.transportation.gov/…/traveling-disability
orthotics footwear

How do you find a proper shoe to fit with orthotics?

Pediatric orthotics are great devices in helping support a child's foot/ankle position, encourage mobility and overall improve stability and gait success. At Total Pediatric Therapy we will often work with orthotic fitters and the child's parents to get the child properly fit for their orthotics. The orthotics then become an integral part of the child's rehabilitation process.  The challenge that arises is, "How do you find a proper shoe to fit with orthotics?"

We know it can be difficult to find shoes that work with your child's orthotics. To help we have created this recommendation list. These recommendations come directly from clients that have found they work. If you have any to suggest please let us know!

Nike Revolution 5 (Flyease or Not)
Adidas EQ21 EL
Billy Footwear
New Balance Wide or Extra Wide
Plae - Ty with Large Mesh

does my baby need a helmet

Torticollis and Plagiocephaly Awareness Day!

Torticollis is a condition in which a baby presents with tightness of their neck muscles.  Typically, we will see that the baby prefers to tilt their neck towards their shoulder (the tight side) and turn or rotate to the opposite side.

Plagiocephaly is a condition in which the skull becomes misshaped.  It is closely related with torticollis due to the asymmetry in the neck.

These conditions can begin from positioning during pregnancy and often worsen after delivery.  The sooner Torticollis and Plagiocephaly are identified, the greater success we have at treating them.  Muscles can lengthen and strengthen with intervention and head shape can be addressed with repositioning and the use of a cranial remolding band, in more severe cases.

Between birth and 6 months, a babies skull goes through rapid growth, making this an ideal time frame to treat head shape concerns.  It is also the most successful time frame to achieve full motion and strength of the neck.

If these conditions go untreated, they can lead to delayed and asymmetrical motor patterns and other long-term consequences associated with an abnormal head shape such as malalignment of the jaw, visual or auditory changes and safety concerns.

What to watch for:

  • Baby only turning their head one direction
  • Always sleeping towards the same side
  • Difficulty holding their head in the middle with tummy time
  • A neck tilt one direction
  • Flattening of the skull
  • Difficulty nursing on one side

*If you notice any of these concerns, seeking a Pediatric Physical Therapy consult and treatment is essential to ensuring the best outcomes!

Helping Your Baby Sit Upright

Improve your baby's seated position

I am often asked, "How do I help my baby sit upright?" Once your baby has mastered tummy time and rolling, they can start sitting with support around 5-6 months of age and usually become independent with sitting by 7-8 months.  Here are a few different ways to help your baby learn how to sit:

  • Place their hands in front of them.  While sitting behind them, provide support with your hands at their waist or legs to assist with their balance.
  • Place a boppy pillow (like the photo to the right) behind your baby while they are in the sitting position for support and safety.
  • Place toys that are slightly taller than the floor in front of your baby.  This will enable your baby to sit more upright while playing.

Remember, while sitting is such an exciting independent skill, we don’t want to lose focus on the importance of tummy time.  Tummy time is what will lead to crawling, which is essential for future milestones.  Stay tuned for more information on how to help your baby crawl on our next post!  Contact us with any questions!

baby sit upright

Baby Rolling, The Next Step

Tummy Times Next Step

Now that you have set the groundwork with tummy time, we can introduce your baby to rolling! Babies start independently rolling anywhere between 3 and 6 months of age. Helping your baby to roll can assist them in developing their neck, shoulders, core and hip muscles for future skills. Guiding your baby by rolling back and forth to their belly can also provide them with needed rest breaks from tummy time.

Watch our video below for a quick tutorial on how to guide your baby through a rolling exercise. As you facilitate your baby through this exercise, remember that you want your baby doing as much as they can on their own for optimal strengthening and carry over. Also, make sure you help your baby roll over the left and right sides of their body to increase symmetry of movements. Reach out with any questions or comments. Remember to follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more tips. Now let’s get rolling!

Baby Development: Rolling

Tummy Time

Tummy time is a strengthening activity that begins with placing your baby on their stomach to play during wakeful times.  This activity puts babies in position to practice lifting their bodies and heads and to begin controlling their movements.