Has your child recently received a scoliosis diagnosis? Your doctor may already be talking about bracing as a possible treatment option. Especially if they are active in sports or insecure about their body, they may not be excited to wear a brace. As a parent, you should encourage your child to wear their brace so that the treatment is effective. The best ways to support a child during scoliosis bracing are to balance their needs with their doctor’s orders. Consider these tips for guiding your child through their treatment.
Go Clothes Shopping
Take your child shopping for new clothes in their brace, so they can style it how they please. Some braces are bulky, so your child may want to hide it with flowy blouses or t-shirts. Help them find jackets, cardigans, and other clothes that cover their brace if they don’t want people to see it.
Each child will have different feelings about wearing a brace. Some may want to show all their friends and family, while others may hesitate to tell anyone. It’s important that your child knows what scoliosis bracing looks like and that they’ll have to use it for several years. They may feel more control by telling people before they find out, and it provides them with a larger support group.
Customize Your Child’s Brace
Your child may be more motivated to wear their brace if they personalize it. Like a favorite backpack or jacket, kids are more likely to use something if they make it their own. Some braces are available in different colors and patterns. Further, they can add vinyl stickers to make their brace unique.
Encourage them to let their friends add stickers to promote telling others about the brace!
Monitor Brace Use
A modern brace allows you and your doctor to monitor how much your child wears it. Often, parents can’t tell if a child is wearing a brace because it’s hidden beneath their clothes. You can be certain whether your child is using theirs with timers placed inside the brace.
Have Family Meetings
Every doctor will tell you that bracing for scoliosis is a family affair. Everyone must be on the same page when it comes to treatment. Especially if schedules are tight, take time each day or week to talk about a game plan that includes when your child will wear their brace. Get everyone in the household involved so they understand their role.
Talk About Bracing
Regularly talk to your child about how they feel in their brace. Listen to their concerns and do what you can to make their way of life better. Make sure they understand how important it is to wear the brace. If your child struggles to wear it because it hurts, they may need to see their doctor for an adjustment. Talking to a psychologist may help your child overcome anxieties around brace wear.
Bracing for scoliosis isn’t easy for anyone. The treatment slows or stops the progression of the curve, and it may prevent surgical intervention. Bracing is effective due to the pressure it places on specific parts of the spine. The best ways to support a child during scoliosis bracing are to help them feel cool and comfortable using the device.