Hesperian Health Guides
Positions for Dressing
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Try dressing the child in different positions, to see what works best.
|Body position is especially important when dressing a child with spastic cerebral palsy. Often his body tends to bend stiffly backward if he is dressed lying on his back.||It often works better to dress a child with spasticity with his body and hips bent forward.|
|A bad position:
(child’s body stiffens backward)
|A good position:|
Hand bends tightly.
face down over lap
|For changing that needs to be done face-up, try putting a firm pillow under the head, and keep knees and hips bent. This may help the baby relax and not stiffen up.||Lying on the side is often a good position for a child with spasticity who is beginning to dress himself. He may need to roll from one side to the other to pull on clothes — but he should keep his knees, hips, and head bent to avoid stiffening.|
knees and hips bent
|To help the child dress while sitting, be sure he is in a steady position. You can help him keep his hips bent and body forward like this.||If balance when sitting is still not good, or if the child tends to stiffen backward, try sitting in a corner to dress.||Sitting with the feet forward and knees apart is a good position for play and dressing. If legs press together stiffly, try pushing the knee out gently while you press under the big toe.|
first with help
|When a child with athetoid cerebral palsy tries to raise her arms or to speak, her feet may come off the ground or her legs spread.
Try pressing down over the knees, keeping them together. Or press on top of the feet.
|Help the child find the position that allows the best control for dressing.|