Limb loss is not ever easy to understand, but the challenges are more intense when it comes to children. Consequently, parents often have to take more steps to help their children through the process, especially when it comes to the transition to a prosthetic device. As unchartered territory for both you and your child, here are some things you can do to help your child with the transition.
1. Keep Them Informed
It is never a good idea to keep your child in the dark. You should keep the child informed about the entire process. This step is important to help the child adjust to their new life, but it can also help ensure that the child knows how to properly care for their prosthetic, such as how to properly put the prosthetic on and take it off, how to keep it clean, and even what special measures they need to take when they play with the prosthetic on. The more informed your child is, the more confident they will be through the transition, and safer your child will be.
2. Let the Orthopedist Help
Do not undervalue the amount of help the orthopedist can offer you as well. An orthopedist is more than just a care provider; they also have experience with young patients just like yours. They can use this experience to provide you with helpful insight on how to help your child adjust and even help you learn about new techniques you can use to help your child learn how to properly care for their prosthetic. The physician will also be able to talk to your child about their limb loss in a way that that is comforting and easier for them to understand.
3. Find a Support Group
It might also be a good idea to find a group of children that have also experienced limb loss that your child can interact with. A common concern with children who have experienced limb loss is a feeling of isolation. Children often feel like they are the only person going through the situation. The opportunity for the child to interact with other children who also wear prosthetic devices provides the child with a sense of community, and as the child watches the other children navigate with their devices, it teaches the child that they can do the same thing.
Remember that it is most important to meet the specific needs of your child, so always take their personal needs in mind, and again, do not hesitate to ask for assistance from your orthopedist.