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Therapy mattresses for children and adolescentsPrint

Better sleep for children and adolescents with disabilities

Just turn off the light, close your eyes and fall into the arms of Morpheus. Wake up the next morning, well rested, and start the day filled with vigour. The ideal conception of healthy sleep. But what about all those children who cannot have that? What about children who do not fall asleep as easily and cannot sleep through the night because of an illness or a disability?

For many parents of children with reduced mobility or sleep disturbances, healthy sleep is more of a wish than a reality. They are often woken up by their children several times a night. Up to 70 per cent of these special children have problems falling asleep and especially sleeping through the night – a far higher incidence compared to healthy children. Numerous phases of wakefulness generally occur due to the disability.

This causes extreme strain for both the children and the entire family. Support at night has to be as close to perfect as possible for the chronically ill and children with disabilities. The child also needs to feel secure at all times, with simultaneous stimulation of the senses. Children have to perceive their own body. Having this feedback generally improves sleep and reduces muscle tension. A therapy mattress can increase a child’s awareness of their body. Pain therapy functions should also be part of a good bed.

The well-being of people, especially children, is one of the most important prerequisites for healing and staying healthy. With the knowledge of how sleep and regeneration are related, and their effects on the healing process, care experts are gaining important new information that is incorporated in the development of therapy mattresses. Some systems are built on basal stimulation (promoting and improving sensory perception, body orientation and the ability to communicate). Therapy mattresses with micro-stimulation are an example (MiS).

Micro-stimulation: Small cause – large effect

Underneath the mattress, there is a kind of slatted frame with gently rocking butterfly springs. The butterfly springs generate stimulating counter-impulses in response to the child’s breathing and small movements. These are fine motor stimuli that supply important signals to the brain via the nerve tracts. The brain constructs a three-dimensional model from these signals – our body image. Without these signals, there is “radio silence”. The brain forgets how to communicate with the body and is no longer able to control movement correctly. Micro-stimulation trains the brain during sleep, maintaining physical mobility and mental agility. It can prevent pain and support healing processes. The child is better able to perceive their own body.

A therapy mattress such as the ThevoSchlummerstern is a child-friendly positioning and therapy system that improves the quality of sleep, perception and the child’s development. It is suitable for decubitus prevention and therapy, and also supports pain therapy. By reducing sleep interruptions, for instance due to less repositioning, it provides more restful and quiet sleep. The ThevoSchlummerstern A generates additional movement stimuli for children with severely reduced mobility (including a vegetative state).

Children with perception or behavioural disorders, such as ADHD and autism, often have trouble sleeping or wake up frequently during the night. Sleep disturbances have a negative impact on the child’s performance and ability to concentrate. This is where products such as the ThevoSchlummerstern Senso help. They positively affect the child’s restless sleeping pattern with minimal movement stimuli.

Better sleep for adults in need of therapy who suffer from various clinical pictures is also available with the AGR seal of approval. More information is available here.

Checklist

  • Naturally the bed should be adapted to the body size of the respective user.
  • The bed must be individually adjustable to the body weight and contour.
  • The bed has to promote body awareness. A good example is the principle of micro-stimulation. Numerous butterfly springs pick up every movement of the child, even breathing movements, and provide direct feedback. This feedback improves body sensation. The child feels secure.
  • The mattress has to ensure the optimal transfer of micro-stimulation in order to realise its full effect.
  • Children turn over or move around up to 60 times a night. These values may change depending on the state of health. Movement is important for the regeneration of the intervertebral discs. Therapy mattresses for children should therefore enable and ideally support this important night-time movement.
  • The bed has to facilitate pressure relief for individual problem zones in order to prevent pain so the child can sleep through the night.
  • The mattress construction, material and covers have to be comfortable for the user. Even temperature distribution on the surface of the mattress is important. Favourable climate properties permit the optimal transportation of moisture. Not only does that improve hygiene, it also prevents chills and the associated muscle tension.
  • Special solutions, for instance in case of incontinence, have to be available for the covers. The mattress should be lightweight, easy to handle and easy to clean.

Minimum requirements

  • Individually adapted to each particular body
  • Different sizes possible to take account of weight and size
  • Pressure relief for the shoulders and upper arms, and for prominent parts of the body (e.g. ankles, head, shoulder blades, elbows, the large protuberances and the sacral region)
  • Supporting and enhancing movement processes
  • Supporting body metabolism
  • Mattress transfers the effect of the spring base without any losses
  • Satisfaction of the subjective lying needs (well-being, mattress selection)
  • Uniform distribution of temperature on the surface
  • Optimum moisture transport
  • Favourable climate properties
  • Special solutions for those suffering from allergies and rheumatism, and for incontinent patients
  • Easy to handle and clean

Also appropriate

  • Head adjustment
  • Possibility of positioning the body at a slant
  • Ergonomic adjustment functions (graduated bed, sitting in bed)
  • Standing up aid

Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval

Manufacturer

Thomashilfen
Walkmühlenstr. 1
27432 Bremervörde
GERMANY
Phone +494761/88 60
Fax +494761/88 61 9
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.thomashilfen.de

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