Physiotherapist Working Group of the Heim Pál Children’s Hospital
As physiotherapists working at the Heim Pál Children’s Hospital in Budapest we treat children with various neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. During the therapy, our goal is to follow the movement development of a healthy child, to establish and restore the normal functions of their body. It’s important to do all this in the most playful way possible.
Our hospital had the opportunity to try out the Adamo hammock. Thanks to its design, we can place the child in both sitting and lying positions. As a result of its single-point suspension, it can be pushed or rotated in any direction. With the adjustable rope length, the baby’s feet can also reach the floor, encouraging it to be active.
We would like to demonstrate through some examples how the Adamo hammock can be used as an additional tool in the movement therapy:
Infants and young children who have been forced to rest in bed for several months (e.g., after injuries of the nervous system, serious accidents, conditions requiring intensive care) are often unable to sit independently due to their illness. However, the vestibular (balancing) stimuli required for the functioning of the nervous system can be safely administered in the supine position.
Damage to the central nervous system (hypoxia at birth, accident) can cause disturbances in the regulation of the muscle tone. As a result, the back muscles and the neck muscles are tighter (a so-called extension tone increase may develop), the spine bends backwards. Place the child in the soft seat of the hammock with the legs pulled up to their belly. During the slow rocking, the tense muscles relax and the spine bends in the right direction.
This tool can also come in handy for congenital deformities of the foot (such as the clubfoot) or after lower limb surgery, when the toddler puts his or her foot in the wrong position or may not fully load it yet. The hammock is adjusted so that the child’s two feet reach the floor. The little patient can push themselves by leaning on the feet adjusted properly by the physiotherapist or the parent. This creates controlled muscle activity in the lower limb, and for the baby pushing the hammock is fun.
In addition to these few examples, there are countless other ways to use the hammock. It provides entertainment for healthy, injured and sick children, but it also works as a supplementary therapeutic tool. I encourage all parents to play with their babies in a creative way or to use the hammock as a therapeutic tool with the help of a doctor or physiotherapist.
Tímea Bősenbacher, conductor-motion developer
We use the Adamo hammock in the Development Houses also for special purposes. In our movement development groups for moms, we examine children’s nervous system maturation from infancy and teach parents what they need in order to develop their own child individually, how fast, how many times the family should swing the little one.
The specialists of the Development House also compile therapeutic programmes for children with various problems and developmental delays (such as speech-starting movement therapy). However, in such cases it is very important to seek the advice of a sensorimotor development specialist! The Adamo hammock can also be used at home during the planned sensorimotor training, as most mothers are alone with their child during the day, so they cannot perform any swing tasks in the blanket in another way.
Therefore, if you choose a hammock for your baby, choose one based on the information above! Keep it in mind that the hammock is very beneficial for your child’s development, but it should only be used wisely, taking into account the child’s needs, motivation, pace of their movement development and length of time spent in the hammock. As the head of the Children’s Development Center of the Újbuda Development House and a mother of three children, I heartily recommend this well-designed hammock!