Category: Classroom Chair

Hip Supports For Chairs That Have Sides

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--- "DO IT YOURSELF" ENTRY ------- Description: Two vinyl covered foam blocks to place between the sides of the chair and the hips while the student is seated.

PURPOSE: To stabilize the hips and pelvis in the neutral position for improved posture and trunk control while sitting. This device is helpful for some physically challenged students as well as some learning challenged students who have low muscle tone resulting in poor pelvic and trunk alignment when sitting.

1.A chair of the appropriate size, with arms or sides (e.g. the Arm Chair from Rifton Equipment)
2.Vinyl material-about 1 yard
3.2 inch polyethylene (hard) foam (2 pound density) – about 18 inch square
4.Floor tape-same color as vinyl, to bind overlapping edges

Barge Cement (available from North Coast Medical, Inc.).
Marker or pencil.
Yardstick and mental tape measure.
Electric carving knife or saw.
Heavy duty saw.

Make sure student is positioned correctly in the chair.
Measure the following:
1.LENGTH: the depth of the chair seat.
2.HEIGHT: the distance from the seat surface to the top of the hips.
3.WIDTH: the distance from the side of the chair to the hip.

1.Cut two blocks of polyethylene (hard) foam, each equaling the dimensions determined above.
2. Draw two rectangles on the vinyl using measurements determined above:
LENGTH: Length plus twice the height of the foam block.
WIDTH: Two times the width of the block, plus two times the height of the block, plus one inch.
Cut out vinyl, and note length and width on the back if measurements are nearly the same. The rest of the steps will complete one hip support.

3.Wrap the width of the vinyl around the block, centering the overlapping edges on the middle of one long side. Make sure foam is centered with an equal amount of empty space at both edges. Use Barge Cement to glue down the edge of the vinyl where it will overlap, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Cut a piece of floor tape the same length as the vinyl and seal your seam.
4.With heavy duty scissors, cut slits in each end of the vinyl from the edge of the vinyl to the corners of the foam inside it, resulting in four square flaps. At one end, fold down the flap containing the overlap. Fold down the other flaps one by one, securing each to the previous flap with Barge Cement, again following the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat for the other end using the same sequence, so that both top flaps face the same direction. Be sure to cut off any excess material from second side before gluing flaps.
5.Cut a strip of floor tape the same length as your vinyl width measurement above. Wrap it carefully around the edge of the block, leaving half the width of the tape overhanging the edge of the block. Snip a small “V” out of the overhanging tape at each corner. Press tape down onto the ends of the block, one side at a time, binding and covering all the seams in the vinyl.
6.Repeat steps #3 through #5 for the second block.

Author: Amy Houghton, OTR/L, Occupational Therapy, Team Leader at Cotting School.


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