Children With Osteogenesis Imperfecta
In general, caring for young children with osteogenesis imperfecta is just like caring for any other infant. Such children may require a little extra care and support, of course. And there are several precautions and special areas of consideration to be aware of, such as car seats and strollers, clothing, and bathing.
In most ways, caring for a child with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is no different from caring for any other child. There are, however, a few precautions and tips unique to handling babies with this condition that we would like to share with you.
Some special areas of consideration in caring for children with osteogenesis imperfecta include:
- Car seats and strollers
- Fracture care (see Fractures and Osteogenesis Imperfecta)
- X-rays (see Osteogenesis Imperfecta and X-rays)
- Teeth (see Osteogenesis Imperfecta and Teeth)
- Exercise (see Exercise and Osteogenesis Imperfecta)
- Independence (see Independence With Osteogenesis Imperfecta)
- School (see Osteogenesis Imperfecta and School).
Seats and Strollers
You will need a car seat to take your baby home from the hospital. Look for an infant seat that reclines as much as possible, with careful consideration of how easily the child can be placed into or removed from the seat. You may want to pad the seat with egg crate foam, available from medical supply stores, or one-inch foam, available from fabric stores.
In addition to lining the bottom of the seat, place a layer of foam between the harnesses and the child for extra protection. As with any child, it is important that the child with osteogenesis imperfecta be safely confined in an approved car seat placed in the back seat. For maximum safety, never place an infant or child car seat in the front passenger seat -- airbags can be dangerous, especially for children with OI.
For children who are able to sit up, Snug Seat® manufactures an excellent car seat for toddlers with osteogenesis imperfecta. The seat is adjustable to accommodate the child when he or she is in a spica cast (a cast that goes up over the child's hip).
You will also need a stroller that reclines considerably and is wide enough to accommodate casts. Fisher-Price® manufactures a three-wheeled stroller that many parents have used successfully. Sling or umbrella-type strollers are unsuitable because they lack leg support and provide poor positioning of the spine and head.