Toddlers and small children recovering in the Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust are sitting pretty, thanks to new brightly-coloured paediatric chairs.
Supplied by Medstrom Healthcare, the chairs, which are all easy to clean and contain pressure-relieving properties, are assisting children’s rehabilitation by encouraging them to get out of bed and take part in a range of activities without feeling uncomfortable.
Studies show that getting out of bed contributes to improved lung function and mechanics, and psychologists know it’s better for recovery. So, healthcare workers at the trust were keen to source chairs perfectly designed for their smallest patients.
Previously, children would sit in adult-sized chairs and be supported by pillows to help them stay comfortable. But the height of the chairs made it difficult for physiotherapists and nurses to encourage independent movement.
Jenny Doyle, clinical specialist physiotherapist at the trust, believes the chairs are already playing a special role in helping her patients get back on their feet during treatment or following a trauma.
She said: “Hospitals can be a daunting place for children, especially those too young to fully understand why they are there. It is really important to us that we make the environment as child-friendly as possible, to encourage them to get out of bed and take part in one-to-one physiotherapy or fun group activities to support their recovery and to take their mind off their situation.
Only having adult-sized chairs that were dull, dreary and difficult to get in and out of meant we had an extra challenge to get children out of bed.
“We worked with Medstrom to create brightly-coloured, paediatric chairs that can be height adjusted so the children’s mobility, comfort and time out of bed could be increased. They are very popular already, with many children excited that they have a special chair just for them.”
Medstrom Healthcare’s key account manager, Lisa Hewitt, puts the success of the paediatric chairs down to their child-friendly design and comfort. She said: “Our height-adjustable paediatric chairs recognise the physical differences between adults and children and have been designed to prioritise the comfort and wellbeing of the youngest of patients.
“We are over the moon to hear they are proving such a hit with the children being treated at the hospital and, of course, the staff that are using them.
“For children small changes can make a big difference and we are proud to be playing a small part in helping make the recovery of children in intensive care a more-comfortable and positive one.”