11. Case Study 4 - Postural Harnesses
Case Study 4 explores the use of postural harnesses to maintain the correct seating position when travelling in the vehicle.
Noah is 12 years old and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when he was only 2. Cerebral Palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. Due to his condition, Noah has difficulty maintaining an upright position without assistance when travelling in the vehicle.
When travelling in a vehicle, an upright position is imperative for the occupant’s safety. Correct positioning in the vehicles seat ensures that the seatbelt is in the correct position on the occupant’s shoulder in case of an accident.
Noah’s parents have been in consultation with his Occupational Therapist to find a solution that ensures Noah is sitting in the correct seating position during travel. Noah’s Occupational Therapist recommended a postural harness to be used when travelling in a vehicle.
When contacted by Noah’s Occupational Therapist, Mobility Engineering provided the following recommendations:
Option 1: Careva Combination Harness
The Careva Combination Harness consists of a spinal belt, shoulder straps and a pelvic belt. All three components will work together to provide Noah with upper body support. They will prevent him falling forwards or to the side and ensure that the vehicle’s seatbelt works correctly.
The Careva Combination Harness can be easily transferred between vehicles, such as the family car and school bus, and can be used on some wheelchairs. For the harness to be used in a seating position, all that is needed is a gap between the headrest, seatback and squab to allow the straps to fasten around the seat.
The Careva Combination harness can also be paired with a Careva thoracic belt to provide additional support, if needed. The thoracic belt provides additional upper trunk support to limit side to side movements.
The Careva Combination harness is a comfortable and convenient solution that will provide Noah with the support he needs to maintain a safe, upright seating position during travel. The harness comes in small, medium and large, making the Careva Combination harness suitable for both children and adults.
Option 2: Crossit Harness
The Crossit Harness is secured to the back rest with two straps that fit between the headrest, seatback and squab. The harness is then secured to the occupant with two straps that can either be crossed over each other or secured vertically as a shoulder harness. Optional chest buckle or seat pad can be used for additional support. The Crossit harness focuses on upper trunk control and does not have additional supports for the pelvic area to prevent submarining.
The Crossit Harness will grow with Noah, with no need for a new harness due to growth. The Crossit is a versatile solution that can be adjusted to suit Noahs needs as he grows and changes.
After trialling both the Careva Combination harness and the Crossit harness, Noah’s parents were most comfortable using the Careva Combination harness with an additional thoracic belt. They found the harness easy to use and transfer between vehicles and they liked the support it provided to Noah during vehicle travel.