Hesperian Health Guides
Chapter 63: Walking Aids
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In designing aids for a child, we need to think not only about her type and amount of disability, but also the stage of progress she is at. For learning to walk, she may progress through a series of stages and aids. Here is an example:
|1. Parallel bars||2. Wheeled walker||3. Crutches modified to form walker Parallel bars|
|4. Underarm crutches||5. Below elbow crutches||6. Cane with wide base||7. Walking stick (cane)||8. If possible, no aids at all|
In this chapter we show a variety of aids for walking. Most can be made easily out of tree branches or wood. Some can be made from building construction bars (reinforcing rod) or metal tubing, and may require welding.
We include these ideas not to ask you to copy them, but with the hope that they will ‘trigger’ your imagination. Take ideas from these designs, and use the materials you have at hand. When possible, make your aids to meet the needs of the individual child.
At a village rehabilitation center, it helps to have a wide selection of aids on hand, so that you can try different ones on a particular child to find out what works and what she likes best.