What is a Pediatric Stander?

Pediatric Stander

A pediatric stander is a supportive device for children who have great difficulty or are unable to stand or walk achieve and maintain an upright standing position. 

What are the Benefits of a Pediatric Stander?

  • Improve bone density and decrease risk osteoporosis. Weight bearing through the legs and hips stimulates bone growth. 
  • Improve range of motion and decrease risk of contractures. Standing stretches tight muscles in the hips, knees and ankles to help maintain joint mobility and prevent contractures.
  • Improve hip congruency and reduce risk of hip dislocation. Bearing weight through the hip joints in the proper alignment can help improve hip joint congruency and prevent hip dislocations 
  • Improve bowel and bladder function. Being upright facilitates more complete emptying of the bladder and bowel compared to sitting or lying down. This helps reduce constipation and urinary tract infections.
  • Increase muscular strength. The weight bearing and upright posture provided by standers allows strengthening of the back, neck and core muscles. 
  • Prevent pressure sores. Standing reduces pressure on the skin over bony prominences compared to sitting or lying down for long periods. This helps avoid skin breakdown and pressure sores.
  • Improve respiratory function. The upright posture helps expand the lungs more fully and decreases risk of respiratory infections. 
  • Increase alertness and attention. The change to an upright, weight-bearing position provides new visual and spatial input to the brain which can increase alertness and attention span.
  • Facilitate independence and social development. Being upright promotes head and trunk control and allows children to actively participate in play with peers, self-care, and activities at home and school. 

The decision to use a stander is generally made by a team of professionals based on the child’s specific condition and needs. Standing frames must be the proper size, and monitoring will occur initially to ensure optimal positioning and tolerance. Talk to your pediatric physical therapist to learn more and see if a pediatric stander is right for your child. Learn more about getting your child standing here.