Problem-Solving: Seating Devices for Pediatric Swallow Studies


Can you recommend a chair model to use for pediatric infant and child video swallow studies and teen swallow studies?


Some general considerations:

If you need to use a C-arm (versus standard x-ray table), it may limit ease of access for certain seating devices and may limit establishing required view (i.e. child’s travel chair/wheel chair may seat the child too low to allow the desired view/image).

If the standard x-ray table is used, travel chair may be too wide with a tray in place to fit; yet if we take the tray off so chair fits in the narrow space, we change the postural stability typically available for PO feeding, and then may create an artifact in the data set.

Some very helpful seating devices go off the market randomly and we are left searching for a replacement

Need to consider if plan is to objectify typical position or optimal.

So problem-solving always a key, as is thinking outside the box.

I really like the MAMA Chair — Multiple Articulation, Multiple Adaptation chair, as Joan mentioned above. Flexible for different ages and levels of postural control and optional supports, hip-pelvic angles, has a footplate for optimal stability, which sounds not so important, but it is. Ever go out for a drink and end up on a bar stool with no rungs? You don’t stay long! Foot stability transfers throughout the entire postural mechanism and can affect swallowing/feeding skill. Just wish it had a tray to provide upper body stability via weightbearing, as that really can make a difference for some children too. We usually create something with very firm towel rolls to simulate a weight bearing surface. It is well worth the investment.

Some options for infants: Tumbleforms infant seat, infant seat/car seat, MAMA chair, swaddled sidelying on a wedge. Tumbleforms may create too rounded of a hip-pelvic angle if there is any postural instability, and that can adversely affect oral-motor swallowing function or generate maladaptive patterns.

Some options for toddlers: Secure larger Tumbleforms seat on Hausted chair( same caveat above applies), MAMA Chair, Special Tomato MPS seat , Hi Low Tomato Seat

Some options for children: same as above but may also be able to sit in regular chair (pending sensory-motor skills),  Rifton toileting chair with a cushion insert, Transmotion chair, Snug Seat Tiger High Low chair.

I hope this is helpful.

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