The day-to-day challenges of managing during treatment are completely different with older children.
Early diagnosis yields the most favourable outcome for hip dysplasia. So it's not surprising that the focus of hip dysplasia (DDH) diagnosis and treatment is on the 0-2 year-old age bracket.
Unfortunately, late diagnosis still occurs and some, diagnosed early, with severe hip dysplasia, may still need on-going treatment well into their childhood as well.
We hope the following tips help you and your child during their healthy hip journey;
1. X-rays can be scary for children. The Royal Children's Hospital Okee in Medical Imaging App is a great resource to use in the lead up to each X-ray to let your child know] what to expect.
2. Another great resource to help prepare your child for their upcoming treatment is the Hope The Hip Hippo book.
3. Feeling different and alone isn't just expressed by parents but often by children too. Giving their favourite toy a brace or cast might help your child feel like they are not alone.
4. Treatment length does vary but if you know a set period before a review or until the end of a part of the treatment a visual countdown aid might help. Sam shared this, Frozen movie, snowflake counter that she made with the help of her daughter Jemma to count down the days in her spica cast.
5. A spica table can be a lifesaver for both meal and activity time; allowing your child to sit upright safely at a table to play and eat makes the world of difference in how you all cope. The following link takes you to a set of DIY instructions kindly shared with us by a parent in the hip dysplasia community.
6. Approach your GP in the lead up to your child's surgery to discuss applying for a disability parking permit. These are designed for people unable to walk and requiring a wheelchair. Having access to larger parking bays, closer to your destination may make it possible for you to venture out with your child during treatment. (Please note that Healthy Hips Australia does not have authority to issue these permits. Each State and Territory have their own regulations and talking with your GP is recommended. The ability for your child to be secured safely to travel in the car must also be considered).
7. It is important for those looking after older children during treatment to protect their backs. In the following post we discussed back care and how to survive hip dysplasia treatment for your child without becoming a patient yourself.
If you have any tips to help other families with older children facing treatment for hip dysplasia please get and touch via our contact form.