Trunk, Arm and Head Positioning & Support Part 2

Rifton Activity Chair Video 10

Second in the two-part section on trunk, arm and head positioning supports for the Rifton Activity Chair, this video shows you how to use and adjust the chair's armrests, forearm prompts, butterfly harness and tray. If you didn't see the first part of this section, it's worth checking out too for more positioning options. A transcript is provided below for viewers with hearing disabilities.

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[00:00:03.08] Caption: Part II Trunk, Arm, and Head Positioning

Butterfly Harness:

[00:00:09.05] Sam Durgin: The butterfly harness is an additional support that is good for children who tend to slump forward, and this mounts directly to the top edge of the backrest with these two buckles. The bottom end has the same stamping configuration that you saw on the seatbelts. Again, I take out my pen or my key, a pointy object, and I can insert the bottom mounting points of the butterfly harness.

[00:01:02.25] Sam Durgin: Now when designing the butterfly harness, we were concerned with creating adequate support. To be able to support the upper trunk, and keep it back on the seat. There is always a concern when doing a support for the neck area, that you never have a hazard for strangulation. So we have sewn a label on the bottom edge that states very clearly that the butterfly harness is not the way to hold the child in the chair. The butterfly harness must be used in conjunction with a seatbelt. You'll also notice that we have a very deep neck line which will also help.. And we mounted the butterfly harness so the socket end is at the bottom and the pronged end is at the top. This way there'll be no way you can get it upside down , which would definitely present a hazard for choking. So that is the butterfly harness.

Armrests and Tray:

[00:02:16.40] Sam Durgin: The armrest can be adjusted up and down vertically, by depressing this white button, or can be removed all the way for lateral transfers. It has a white trigger on the side that I can use to adjust the angle of the arm rest. That's especially nice if you're using it in conjunction with the tray. The tray, this is the one item we did keep from Rifton seating, has a single hand latch that allows you to mount it to the armrest. Now with the tray mounted to the armrest I can adjust both armrests' angles together, and now we effectively have an easel-type surface that we can manipulate the angle of to enable the child to work on their drawing, or whatever activity you want to position that way.

Forearm Prompts:

[00:03:21.10] Sam Durgin: An alternative to the armrest is our forearm prompt system. Anyone who has worked with the Pacer will be very familiar with the forearm prompts that we offer with the Pacer. These are in fact actually the same oval extrusion, same mounting hardware that we use on the Pacer. And the reason we introduced this to a chair is because very often a child will benefit greatly by being able to stabilize their upper trunk, even with one arm. If that gives them the anchor they need to enable them to use the other hand in an activity at the table. Or with both forearm prompts on, now your chair would look like that.

[00:04:26.10] Sam Durgin: Now one set of forearm prompts may be, it may be suitable to have it shared between several chairs within a school. If you want to do that upper trunk therapy, to be able to get the child to have their head up, so maybe they can interact with a speech therapist. Um, some people have used it very effectively that way. You have the same flexibility of adjustment that you see with a Pacer forearm prompt, of being able to adjust it up and down, loosening the knob, sliding it up and down on the oval extrusion, loosening the knob here to rotate it or change the angle down or up or whatever angle you may need to arrive at to fully support a child's hand and arm.

[00:05:23.30] Sam Durgin: So these are the many options that we offer for upper trunk control and head support.