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Advice on traveling with children with achondroplasia

Advice on traveling with children with achondroplasia


Achondroplasia is the most common type of dwarfism, and is a genetic disease which causes bone dysplasia, which means an alteration in the size, shape or strength of the bones, above all, those of the limbs. It presents in the newly born with an enlarged head and shortened limbs.

A child with achondroplasia will have some delayed motor development but they catch up quickly. At first their movements are halting and even shaky, but they are quickly able to move and walk safely. These children have normal muscle development which allows them to carry out the majority of activities of children of their own age.

There can be certain difficulties and complications depending on each child, and on whether or not there are alterations in the alignment of the lower limbs. Due to the shortened trunk holding the child upright, it can be harder for the child to keep their balance and he or she may walk more rigidly, having to make an extra effort and using more energy than normal.

When it comes to planning a trip by car with children with achondroplasia, it is a good idea to remember that there are significant differences between each individual case and each child may have different complications. We will go on to discuss the most common ones.

Children with achondroplasia sweat more than normal, therefore we should consider the comfort of the child when they are having to deal with high temperatures. We should be particularly careful with these children as they are, as we have said, more sensitive to temperature increases. In this article we offer advice on how to make your trip by car cooler and fresher.

These children often have low muscle tone when they are very young, therefore it is vital to be aware of their specific needs in these cases when dealing with the child car seat. It is very important to ensure their correct posture in the seat, and to have any other extra supports such as a wheel chair or orthopedic appliances, which can sometimes make it harder to get the child comfortable.

Other complications of achondroplasia which appear throughout the person's life can be frequent ear infections, spinal problems, bow legs and sleep apnea. The quality of life of these children improves with adequate medical follow-up, therefore, if there are no further complications there is no need to take into account anything other than the child's shortened stature, which will of course affect the type of child car seat to be chosen.

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