Being reliant on a wheelchair or having to spend a lot of your time sitting or even lying down, can put enormous physical strain on the body. While it may not be incredibly active, remaining seated for long periods of time can cause muscular and bone problems, sores, and pain.
For children who are unable to stand unaided, a standing aid can make an incredible difference to their lives. However, there are lots of things to think about before selecting an appropriate stander for your child.
Best Paediatric Standing Aids Comparison Chart
Here’s a handy reference list of our reviewed paediatric standing aids. Further below is a more comprehensive comparison and review guide.
|Gazelle PS Prone and Supine Positioning Stander||EasyStand Evolv Youth Standing Frame||Three-in-One TriStander 58||Snug Seat Rabbit Mobile Stander||Snug Seat Toucan Stander|
|Positioning Options||Vertical, prone, supine||Sit-to-stand||Vertical, prone, supine||Mobile stander||Vertical, prone|
|Tilt Range||90° – 15°||N/A||90° – 15°||0° – 30°||0° – 30° (sizes 1 – 3), 0° – 20° (sizes 4 – 5)|
|Max User Weight||88 – 176 lbs||200 lbs||150 lbs||89 – 155 lbs||66.1 –154.3 lbs|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
What are Paediatric Standing Aids?
A paediatric standing aid is a mobility device that supports the child as they stand. If a child is unable to hold themselves in an upright position independently then these devices are invaluable. This may include, but is by no means limited to children who have physical disabilities as well as those who have neurological diseases.
Children with some of the following conditions may benefit from using this type of equipment.
- Physical deformities
- Spina bifida
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Muscular dystrophy
- Cerebral palsy
- Spinal cord injuries
When used, these postural aids will allow your child to remain in an upright posture for prolonged periods of time. There are various types of standing aid, and which you choose will highly depend on the needs of your child. However, we will look at the different types of stander in a little more detail later in this guide.
Benefits of Using a Paediatric Stander
One of the greatest benefits to using a paediatric stander is that the child will have the opportunity to bear some weight on the feet and legs, regardless of their strength. This means that the muscles and bones in this part of the body will be given a gentle workout. In turn, your child will develop increased bone density and muscle strength, which is something that many children confined to wheelchairs are unable to achieve.
If the child is recovering from a spinal cord injury, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that this type of equipment can be used to aid rehabilitation. Regardless of whether the injury is temporary or permanent, using a stander can give rise to improvements in many physical areas. For example, as the bone density increases, there is more stability, particularly in key areas like the hips.
If the bones and muscles are not given the regular exercise that they need to remain healthy, this can lead to a variety of conditions including osteoporosis. With increased bone density, osteoporosis is far less likely.
Not only this, but the child will be able to develop greater control over their movements, potentially improving head control and reflexes. The hips, as we have discussed, may become more stable through increased bone density, but the upper body will also become more stable over time.
For children who struggle to achieve a varied range of movement, this light exercise can improve their range. In addition to giving the child more independence as they move, this will also benefit them in terms of their quality of life. Having the ability to interact with their loved ones at eye level can help the child to feel more confident. Having a disability can often cause a child to feel as though they are unable to fit in but interacting with their peers, this way they can boost their self-esteem in incredible ways.
But the physical benefits go much further than this since using a stander is also known to improve various internal functions such as circulation and lung function. As the child moves around and the muscles are strengthened, this can, in turn, boost circulation. Remaining seated for long periods of time can put unnecessary pressure on the lungs, making breathing more of a challenge. Standing will allow the lungs the space they need to fully expand and make breathing more comfortable.
In addition to this, a child who is able to regularly stand will benefit from improved digestive health. There is a belief that being in a standing position can encourage the bowels to work better, promoting healthier toileting.This position will bring greater awareness of the bladder and bowel to the child, allowing them to be more in control of their movements.
We must consider that remaining in a seated position for much of the day could result in the child developing pressure sores and other types of discomfort. Allowing the child to use a stander will alleviate any pressure and keep them feeling more comfortable. If the child suffers from painful conditions such as scoliosis, standing can help to relieve some of their discomfort and allow them to move freely and more importantly, safely. These devices are designed to fully support them child, so, as opposed to standing unaided, there is far less risk of accidents and injuries.
Types of Paediatric Standers
Earlier, we discussed that there are different types of paediatric standers. The unique needs of each child will determine the type of standing aid that will suit them best.
If a child has a good amount of control over the head and upper body, then a sit-to-stand stander may be suitable for them. This type of stander allows for sit to stand transfers to take place safely and easily. They will also aid in making stand to sit transfers.
Depending on the model you purchase, you may find that the stander makes use of either a power source or a manual hand pump; this is typically a hydraulic pump.
A prone stander requires the child to be positioned on their belly with support along the front of the body. The stander can then be moved to various positions and angles. This type of stander is frequently used for children with cerebral palsy and is an excellent way to relieve pressure. However, it is important to keep in mind that, when using the prone stander, the child must have a decent level of control over their head and neck.
Similarly to the prone stander, the supine stander gives full body support however, in this case, the child will be positioned on their back and moved into different angles backwards.
There are standers that support both supine and prone positions which are good for some children. However, children who have problems with controlling the stability of the upper body and head would benefit more from a supine stander.
If your child has a good degree of balance and is able to support their own head relatively well then a vertical stander may be the right option for them. The child will be supported in an upright position and this device is particularly helpful for children whose hips are tight or restricted.
Most mobile standers will require the child to have a level of head and neck control but these are excellent for use in the classroom or situations where the child may want to move from one point to another.
The mobile stander is fitted with wheels and either a self-propelled motion or, in some devices, powered movement. The child is supported in an upright position and can move around freely. There are models that come with detachable wheels so that the device can be moved underneath a table.
There are prone mobile standers that come with extra-large wheels on either side. Again, these do require the child to have control over the upper body and head.
Paediatric Standing Aid Buyer's Guide
Aside from thinking about the type of stander that you think would best suit your child, there are several other factors to keep in mind. Remember that the stander will give your child greater independence, confidence, and physical wellbeing so it is important to carefully consider your options before committing.
Level of Ability
The type of stander that you select must meet your child’s needs in terms of what they are capable of. If your child has very limited abilities and is unable to support their head or upper body then you may wish to consider a supine stander that provides them with greater support.
Conversely, if your child has greater abilities when it comes to supporting their body, you may be at liberty to choose from a wider range of standers. Furthermore, you may wish to think about how the stander is propelled; a child with greater physical abilities may be more easily able to use a self-propelled stander whereas a child whose strength and coordination is lacking may benefit from a powered option.
In addition, parents and carers should consider the expected duration of the limited physical abilities. For example, was the child born with a limiting condition or have they experienced trauma and sustained injuries that are likely to heal in the near future? An example of this would be that a self-propelled stander may encourage movement in the arms and upper body. If these areas have been affected by an injury, this movement could serve as a way of strengthening and ultimately healing.
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a stander for your child is that you select the right fit. If this is not observed, the child may end up being either not fully supported or cramped which can cause pain and exacerbate any existing discomfort.
The key area to pay attention to is that the stander is the correct size for the height of the child. When you are purchasing, it is a good idea to have a professional take measurements of your child if you are at all unsure of what to look for.
Passive or Mobile Stander
Children who have some ability to take their own weight may benefit from using a mobile stander. These standers are helpful for children whose upper body stability and control is good and will give them the option to move around their space. This can increase their independence and help them to feel more in control; this is especially true of self-propelled devices.
However, if the child doesn’t have a good level of stability or struggles with a more severe disability then a passive stander might be more suitable. While many of these standers are fitted with castor wheels, they typically rely on the parent or carer to move them around.
Best Standing Aids for Children
Choosing a paediatric stander for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make for them. Therefore, it is essential that you find one that matches their needs as closely as possible.
While there are many options available, we feel that the following selection are among the best and cover a wide range of needs.
1. Snug Seat Gazelle PS Prone and Supine Positioning Stander
Best Overall Prone & Supine Stander
- Positioning options: vertical, prone, supine
- Tilt range: vertical to horizontal (90° – 15°)
- Overall width: 19" – 26"
- Length: 30" – 39"
- Max user weight: 88 – 176 lbs
- Product weight: 44 – 53 lbs
If your child requires both prone and supine support while standing then this is a versatile stander that will allow for this. The device comes in a choice of three sizes with a maximum weight limit of 176 lbs so is suitable for children right through to their late teenage years.
The stander has both vertical and horizontal tilt adding to its versatility and offer excellent stabilization for the upper body for children who may not have a natural ability in this area. It also comes with adjustable foot and knee support so that you can tailor the experience of using the stander to your child’s needs.
2. EasyStand Evolv Youth Standing Frame
Best for Easier Transfers
- Positioning options: sit-to-stand
- Height range: 4'0" - 5'6"
- Max user weight: 200 lbs
- Product weight: 101 lbs
Getting your child from their wheelchair, bed, or seat into a stander can be challenging if you do not have the right type of standing aid. However, the Evolv standing frame is designed to make transfers almost effortless. Whether your child needs assistance or can independently transfer, the wide open frame makes it simple.
This stander also benefits from a generous 200 lbs weight capacity as well as hip, head, and lateral support that remains in place as you complete the transfer, should you need. With pivot points placed in the most natural positions, your child will be able to achieve an optimal standing position with ease which will minimize shearing.
3. Three-in-One TriStander 58
Best Versatile Stander
- Positioning options: vertical, prone, supine
- Tilt range: vertical to horizontal (90° – 15°)
- Height range: 43" - 58"
- Max user weight: 150 lbs
- Frame width: 23"
- Length: 47"
This three-in-one stander is ideal for children with more versatile needs. It allows for an upright position as well as prone and supine support. The stander is suitable for children between 43 inches and 58 inches but what is most impressive is that it is designed to grow with the child.
As well as the various adjustments that can be made, the TriStander 58 is fitted with an easy to use pneumatic tilt that is operated with the foot. The angle can be adjusted between 15-90º and the device comes with lockable wheels for safety.
This is an extremely comfortable stander thanks to the soft padding which is resistant to bodily fluids and will quickly wipe clean.
4. Snug Seat Rabbit Mobile Stander
Best Mobile Stander for the Active Child
- Positioning options: mobile stander
- Tilt range: 0° – 30° (center bar)
- Suitable age range: 1 – 18 years old
- Max user weight: 89 – 155 lbs
- Product weight: 29.5 – 40.5 lbs
If your child has a greater degree of ability and enjoys a more active lifestyle then this mobile stander could be the ideal option. It comes in a choice of sizes which relate to the wheels; these range between 22 inches and 36 inches. Each size has a varying weight capacity that can accommodate children between 88 lbs and 153 lbs.
The Snug Seat Rabbit mobile stander comes with a central brake which is imperative for safety and will prevent the stander from tipping. It features quick release wheels for easy operation. The stander is great for children who want to explore thanks to its likeness to a standard wheelchair.
5. Snug Seat Toucan Stander
Best Upright Stander
- Positioning options: vertical, prone
- Tilt range: 0° – 30° (sizes 1 – 3), 0° – 20° (sizes 4 – 5)
- Suitable age range: 1 – 18 years old
- Max user weight: 66.1 –154.3 lbs
- Overall width: 22" – 27.5"
- Overall length: 29.5" – 43.7"
- Product weight: 16.5 – 23.6 lbs
The Toucan upright stander not only supports an upright position, but also a prone position. In terms of safety, this is one of the most notable on the market. It comes with four individually locking castor wheels as well as a central lockable handle. This handle can be used to alter the position with a smooth and steady motion, and the stander is perfect for easy transfers.
This upright stander features a tray making it ideal for the classroom and is fitted with soft curves and cushioning to keep your child comfortable at all times. It comes in a choice of five sizes with weight capacities ranging between 66 lbs and 154 lbs making this device suitable for children right through to the late teen years.