Effect of Pediatric Belt Cane on Number of Independent Steps taken by one-year-old girl with ONH

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

Children who are unable to visually detect obstacles, drop-offs, and changes in surface have a mobility visual impairment (MVI) (Ambrose-Zaken, 2021). Without consistent tactile path information, toddlers with MVI are unsafe. Some may begin walking and running, but when you can't see where you're going, moving about causes injury and the result is children born with MVI tend to become inactive.

Toddlers with MVI avoid walking, even when verbally prompted, preferring to be physically guided, because it's safer. Toddlers with MVI are recognizable because when crossing open space, they walk slowly and cautiously with a wide gait and hands raised, “exhibiting a smaller stride length and more plantar foot contact” (Hallemans et al., 2011).

A person with MVI walking without an appropriate mobility tool will experience unavoidable falls and object collisions. These occurrences cause fear and a feeling of chaos the longer the duration of this- like a running through a college hazing gauntlet without end.

In a 2016 study on the impact of vision on the dynamic characteristics of gait, Gazzellini, et al., concluded that “The atypical gait of children with congenital blindness is explained by the lack of anticipatory control ”(Gazzellini, 2016). For children with MVI to have anticipatory control, they need a mobility tool that will effectively provide path information. According to Ambrose-Zaken, FallahRad, Bernstein, Wall Emerson and Bikson (2019), children who are five years old and younger are not yet able to use a long cane effectively, because the motor and cognitive skills required to demonstrate proper long cane techniques are not yet developed.

The pediatric belt cane provides young travelers with appropriate tactile path information, allowing them to freely and safely move about their environm