How to choose a baby rocking chair, wheelchair, selection tips and reviews
A roller — combines the properties of a toy and a scooter. With the help of a wheelchair, the child develops fine motor skills, coordination of movements, and the vestibular apparatus. In addition, in the process of skiing, the muscles of the arms, legs and back are strengthened. In such devices there is no rocking stand. Rollers are of two types:
- wheelchair-scooter — the simplest wheelchair, designed only for riding;
- scooter — equipped with game panels, has sound and light effects. It is used not only for skating, but also for developing games.
Rocking chair — combines the qualities of a rocking chair and a wheelchair. Equipped with a stand-rocking chair — removable or built-in. These devices can be used for both rocking and rolling the baby.
Important: The wheelchair must be stable. The best option is a wheelchair with wide-spaced large wheels. It is desirable that it be provided with stops from turning over.
If possible, try on the wheelchair «live». The baby’s legs should not rest against the dashboard or steering wheel. In addition, the wheelchair should please the baby.
In addition to wheelchairs designed for the child to ride, there are wheelchair toys that the baby can carry in front of him with the help of a special long handle. Do not sit on such toys, as they are not designed for the weight of the child and may break.
- Rocking chair
- A roller
The age of the baby from which the use of a wheelchair (rocking wheelchair) is acceptable. Most models are designed for ages from 1 year to 3-4 years. But there are wheelchairs for the smallest from 6 months.
Maximum child weight
The maximum allowable weight of the baby (load on the stretcher), at which the stretcher can be used without the risk of breakage. This parameter is calculated based on the regular use of the device over a long period. Many wheelchairs can withstand short-term increases in load, but it is still better not to allow this, as this will reduce the life of the device.
Important: it is recommended to purchase a wheelchair with a «margin» of strength. Firstly, the baby is growing all the time, and secondly, the maximum weight parameter is often calculated based on movement on a flat road. However, when riding on an uneven surface, the load on the wheelchair increases sharply and may exceed the maximum allowable.
Plastic — lightweight, moisture resistant and relatively inexpensive material. In addition, it is easy to give plastic any color and shape, which provides a variety of designs for such wheelchairs. However, plastic has low strength and more importantly, it is easy to scratch, and this leads to a deterioration in appearance. It is used most often for the manufacture of wheelchairs.
Tree — pleasant to the touch, environmentally friendly, has an average weight, but it is more expensive and does not allow you to create a variety of wheelchair designs. Wooden wheelchairs are much rarer than plastic ones.
Metal — high-strength, but heavy and «cold» material, which makes it difficult to use the stretcher in cool weather. The metal used is of two types:
- steel — subject to corrosion;
- aluminum alloy is lighter than steel and corrosion resistant, but much more expensive.
Textile — used as a shell (upholstery) stretched over the body of the wheelchair. The fabric upholstery is pleasant to the touch and gives the device a spectacular appearance. It can also be used to imitate soft fur or velvety skin to create models in the form of animals. However, the fabric is difficult to clean and use outdoors.
Plastic — an inexpensive and fairly durable material that can be given any color. However, such wheels, even when driving on smooth asphalt, transmit strong vibrations to the wheelchair and create noise.
Tree — in its properties it approaches plastic, but it is an environmentally friendly material and costs a little more. Wood is most often used in classic wooden gurneys.
Rubber – wheels consist of a plastic base and a solid rubber tyre. Best of all wheels dampen vibrations and noise when driving. Mostly found in models for older children. There is also a simpler option — a plastic rim with a thin narrow rubber coating, which has worse cushioning characteristics.
Important: if the wheelchair will be used only in the apartment, it is better to take a device with plastic wheels, if also on the street — with rubber ones.
Animal — the classic version of the wheelchair is a toy horse. There are also elephant wheelchairs, giraffe wheelchairs, and dog wheelchairs.
Automobile — in appearance resembles passenger cars (for example, racing). But the child, as a rule, is forced to sit «on horseback» on such a machine as on a motorcycle.
Construction machinery – wheelchair imitates dump trucks, tractors.
Locomotive — differs in a peculiar hull shape, reminiscent of a steam locomotive. Such wheelchairs have a larger number of wheels (2 front pairs), are equipped with a “boiler”, “pipe” and other characteristic details.
Mototechnics – wheelchair imitates two-wheeled motorcycles. Such models are unstable and require good coordination from the child. Wheelchairs-motorcycles are designed for children of the older age group.
Tricycle — unlike the previous view, it is three-wheeled (one wheel in front, two in the back). These wheelchairs are more stable than «motorcycles», which means they are also suitable for the smallest children.
SUV — in appearance resembles an all-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle (jeep). Wheelchairs-off-road vehicles have rather large wheels, are equipped with models of additional headlights and other decorative elements.
ATV — differs from the «SUV» in the presence of motorcycle handles that perform the functions of the steering wheel.
Airplane — has a characteristic hull shape, decorated with dummies of wings, tail unit. The steering wheel in such a wheelchair is made in the form of a steering wheel, and a rotating “propeller” is installed in the front part.
Important: it is recommended to choose a gurney that has the appearance of a real vehicle (car, locomotive, aircraft), and not a gurney of an indefinite shape. Wheels, reminiscent of real things, contribute to the development of imagination.
The lighter the wheelchair, the easier it is for an adult to carry it from place to place, and for the child himself to roll it. However, a light wheelchair has a relatively low strength.
Provide rotation of the wheelchair in any direction. As a rule, the front wheels connected to the steering wheel are swivel. But there are also self-orienting wheels (as in an office chair). With the help of this function, it is easier and easier to control the wheelchair.
Important: when choosing a wheelchair, you should pay attention to the angle of rotation of the steering wheel and wheels. This is important for the child to master the connection between the steering wheel and the turns of the wheels.
parent pen — allows the parent to control the movement of the baby, stop or carry the stretcher. It is located behind the wheelchair seat.
Back – provides support for the child sitting in the stretcher and reduces the risk of him falling. The backrest can be called both a part installed behind the seat and a protrusion on a solid structure.
Removable rocking stand — turns the wheelchair into a rocking wheelchair. If necessary (for example, during transportation), you can remove the stand and thus reduce the size and weight of the structure.
Protective bumper — a handrail for which the child can hold on with his hands. Like the backrest, the bumper reduces the likelihood of the baby falling off the wheelchair. It is found in models designed for «drivers» of the younger age group.
Stand for legs — designed for the convenience of the baby while riding, while his legs do not touch the road. The device is relevant for devices equipped with a rocking stand or a parent handle.
Seat belts — reduce the likelihood of a child falling off a gurney, and also protect against bruises in the event of a sudden stop. Are applied in the models having a footboard and the parent handle. Belts are especially relevant for the youngest children.
Rollover stops – prevent the wheelchair from tipping forward and backward. These devices are found in models for the smallest drivers who have insufficiently developed coordination. Sometimes they are removable.
light effects — multi-colored bulbs and lanterns give the stretcher a bright and original appearance and make it more visible on the street, which is especially important in places where cars can drive or at dusk.
Sound effects — a speaker with which the wheelchair reproduces various sounds (the sound of a running engine, a siren, melodies). This feature makes the wheelchair more interesting for the child.
Game panel — a set of movable elements (figures of fairy-tale characters, dummies of devices, handles). It is an additional entertainment for the child and develops his fine motor skills.
Horn — a sound signal (siren, squeak, «beep»), giving the gurney a resemblance to a real car and warning of its approach. It can be pneumatic or electronic.
Trunk — serves to transport small items (primarily toys). It can have a different design (a body resembling a cargo one, a tray in the back, a compartment under the seat).
Trailer — gives the wheelchair a resemblance to an adult car, and also serves as an external trunk.
It is difficult to divide wheelchairs and rocking chairs into price categories, since the cost varies depending on the type of wheelchair. For example, plastic cars all cost about the same and are always cheaper than rocking animals. Therefore, the division is conditional. The cheapest wheelchairs are Ecoiffier, Orion, Pilsan, TechnoK products. Usually for the little ones. Simple design and execution, these are most often plastic toys. The more expensive segment is occupied by Alexis, Bambi, Chicco, Fisher-Price, Geoby, Hape, Hasbro, Injusa, Kiddieland, Little Tikes, Na-Na, Peg-Perego, Profi, Smoby, Wader, Polissya rocking chairs. It is worth noting that they are of high quality, reliable and interesting in terms of design and functions. Some models of foreign manufacturers (for example, Melissa & Doug) are unreasonably expensive, and the quality does not exceed cheaper wheelchairs.
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