Following a brain injury, some students may need to use an aid when walking around the home or the school. This may be required because of problems with balance, strength, fatigue, vision or safety awareness. There are many types of walking aids. The student, family and therapist will have decided on which type is most appropriate. The student’s abilities and needs may change over time so the type of walking aid they use will be monitored by their physiotherapist and changed as necessary. The most common types are shown below.
What can I do to help my student if they use a walking aid?
- Smooth walking surfaces are safer than rough so encourage them to use pathways.
- Locate the student’s desk near to the front of the class or near the door to reduce the need for moving around in crowded areas.
- Allow the student to enter and exit the room first.
- Organise the classroom to ensure access is safe and obstacle free.
- If unable to change the room layout, ensure the student is aware of obstacles within the room.
- For students who use a wheelchair as well as a walker for mobility, encourage use of the walker as much as possible. (However, fatigue may influence the time and distance the use of the walker).
- If the student is using crutches or a walking stick, allowing the student to go up or down the stairs at a time where few or no other students are using the stairs will help increase safety.
Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service
Queensland Children’s Hospital
Level 6, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane 4101
t: 07 3068 2950
t: 07 3068 1111 (general enquiries)
f: 07 3068 3909
In an emergency, always call 000.
If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.