Bigstock Disabled GirlThe type of fracture or injury that your child has will influence how it should be treated. Your doctor may recommend that your child restricts the amount of weight that they put on the affected leg. In general,  a child should be of minimum age 7-8 years before using crutches. This has to do with their co-ordination development.

An alternative may either be a small walking frame or a temporary wheelchair. These options are best discussed with the doctor, physiotherapist or occupational therapist.

 Measured up correctly

  • Ensure that your child has been measured properly before leaving the clinic/hospital so that the crutches are not too long or too short. The handles for the crutches should ideally be at the height of the wrists/hips on standing. The elbows are slightly bent on starting, then straighten on going forward on the crutches.
  • If using armpit crutches, the tops of the crutches should be 2 finger breaths below the armpit (so that the child is not putting weight on the crutches through the armpits)

Safety tips for using crutches

  • Ensure tre not too long or too short. The handles for the crutches should ideally be at the height of the wrists/hips on standing. The elbows are slightly bent on starting, then straighten on going forward on the crutches.
  • If using armpit crutches, the tops of the crutches should be 2 finger breaths below the armpit (so that the child is not putting weight on the crutches through the armpits)
  • Ensure that there are rubber caps at the bottom which help grip the ground on walking
  • Do not allow your child to walk in socks- they must have shoes or runners that do not slip
  • Keep the crutches close by the child’s feet when walking and not too far apart
  • Ensure that the child has a backpack with them when outside the home- easier to carry books, etc.
  • Keep the floor at home clear of toys, etc that may trip up the child
  • Leave enough extra time for attending school, hospital appointments, etc.

Safety for Your Child

Crutches