There are so many simple things that you are all too aware can be taken for granted when you’re a parent to a child with disabilities. Just one of them is being able to support yourself sitting upright safely and comfortably so that you can enjoy basic fun things like a bath or paddling pool.
Firefly has just released a new portable bath seat called the Splashy. It’s much like the fantastic Go To seat offering postural support, the option of a three-point or five-point harness and it can recline (in to a whopping 26 positions!). However, unlike the Go To seat, the Splashy can be used in water. So you can use it in the bath, in the paddling pool on a hot summers day (we do get some in Scotland, honestly), at the beach or just for messy play.
Bath seats designed to help children with disabilities are usually what I’d called NHS chic. In other words they’re huge, heavy and unattractive. But what’s so lovely about the Splashy is not only is it nice on the eye with a range of lovely bright colours, it is light weight and easy to store away. A portable bath seat is much harder to find once your child is no longer a baby, but the Splashy can be used from 1 to 8 years of age (or up to 30kg).
When Firefly told me about the Splashy seat I must admit I thought of how handy this product would have been for us when Brody was younger. We either had to lay him down flat in the bath or hold him upright once he outgrew the baby bath seat that he could lie down in. He just didn’t have the core strength in his trunk to sit up on his own safely without really good support. And the next toddler bath seat we had didn’t support him well enough. However, we are fortunate that Brody has been able to sit up in the bath now unaided for a number of years.
So when the opportunity came my way to try out the new Splashy, I instantly thought of my lovely friend Laura and her amazing son Tom who goes to nursery with Brody. Tom is 4 years old and one of the bravest people I know. As a result of some of his sensory issues and a tracheostomy, Tom needs some support sitting in water. The Splashy is perfect for him.
Laura has just had her house adapted to make it more accessible for Tom and it now includes an amazing wet room – the perfect home for a Splashy!
It’s fair to say that the Splashy is going to be a game changer in Tom’s house because it will allow him to enjoy great new experiences – every day ones that a lot of people take for granted, but we know as parents can bring such joy. The second time Tom used the Splashy Laura told me that he actually wheeled himself with his medical trolley to the wet room and gestured towards it!
The Splashy has allowed Tom the experience of playing in the bath and wet room with water, which he has never really been able to do before now. He was able to sit in the Splashy and play on the wet room floor with the shower head and soap and then enjoy a fun bath with bath crayons and modelling soap. Previously, in the bath tub, Tom didn’t have much room to play because his NHS seat took up so much of the bath so there wasn’t much space.
Although the Splashy is great for the bath, it has also enabled Laura to be able to get Tom showered and washed without needing to actually have a bath.
Another lovely new experience that the Splashy will bring is it will allow Tom to be able to use the paddling pool for the first time this summer. In the past, it hasn’t been safe enough because of his tracheostomy and the risk of him aspirating water into his lungs. Now his mum and dad don’t require extra hands to keep him held upright and safe. This fact alone makes me so happy. I know how much Brody loves our paddling pool and hopefully Tom will love his too!
Because the Splashy is a portable bath seat, Laura is really looking forward to the luxury of being able to take it away with them on holiday this year. Holidays in the past have involved a quick wash, because Tom has been too upset not to have the comfort of his bath seat with him.
Having road tested the Splashy to the full; Laura said that she loves the material as the rubber surface stays quite warm, so it’s not cold for Tom to sit on. She also loved the colour and found it really easy to set up and adjust with lots of options for support.
Judging by Laura and Tom’s reaction, and knowing how hard these products can be to find, I think it’s safe to say that the Splashy is a winner for them!
To find out more about this product please click on this link to visit Firefly’s website.
Thank you Laura and superhero Tom xxx