Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baby, it's Cold Outside

Well, it looks like winter is catching up with us!

Like lots of kids with spasticity issues, it's harder for Elena to move in the cold. Her body gets stiffer, and if she layers up in bulky clothes, it's harder for her to move too. Elena can wear gloves, but she can't get them on correctly by herself--not yet, anyway.

We had some convertible mittens--fingerless gloves, with a "mitten" top that can go over them--but Elena needed the mitten off to zip up her coat, and by the time her hands were in her crutches, she couldn't get the mitten top on. So, she'd just wear them with her fingers bare, getting cold the whole time. I ended up buying some knit gloves instead, as I figured her hands would be warmer that way. Still, not the best solution.

The issue is, most kids are fine in those regular gloves--if their hands get cold, they can pop them in their pockets to warm them up. Not Elena--she needs her hands on her crutches.

It's Mother of Invention time!

Introducing: Crutch Mittens 1.0



I don't really have a pattern; I ended up "winging it" and Grandma helped with her sewing machine. Basically, I used a 9" salad plate as a pattern for the mitten, cutting some off the top to make it even for the cuff. We left a 1.5" (ish) hole for the crutch handle to go through. The cuff is made of a little thicker fleece than the pocket, so it will "stand up" better. There is a tie to secure it to the crutch.

Here's the mitten as it goes on the handle:



And then the tie:



Voila! Happy Warm Hands!



My original plan was to have the mittens hang from the crutches (off the handles) when E was indoors. That won't work, as they are too bulky if they are off the handles. So, when E is indoors, the Crutch Mittens have to be removed and put with her coat. This means that currently Elena will need assistance getting the mittens on and off the crutches, b/c she can't tie them on the side (the ties are a little short--and even if they weren't, I don't think she can tie them right now. I might have to switch to velcro). So, this version isn't perfect--but E LOVES the fact that her hands are warm!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

HI AMY
NICE INVENTION THERE.. I COULD USE A PAIR OF THOSE.. SERIOUSLY.. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS HOW I CAN KEEP MY FEET WARM? I TOO WEAR AFO'S LIKE ELENA AND IN THE WINTER MY FEET GET REALLY COLD WHEN WEARING MY BRACES.. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

MELISSA

Anonymous said...

LOVE THEM! I WANT THOSE!!! But yeah spasticity is winter is a HUGE pain in the butt and makes me fall all the time! I know how E feels.

On my way home said...

I LOVE this idea!! I too suffer with the problem of cold hands and crutches. Although I do not have CP and so can easily put on gloves, when walking with crutches with them on I get very bad cramp in my hands because the gloves are touching the crutch handles, not my hands. I may have to have a go at making some of these :o)

Amy said...

Honestly, you are a genius! What a wonderful idea!

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for a while but this is my first post. On the crutch mittens there is something we use in rowing her in the UK which is a mitten which allows you to row still holding the oar....very similar to your creation. They are called pogies Godfrey in the UK sell them but am sure they are available in US too.