Child Immobilizer Showcase

I was googling around when a text ad for the Pigg-O-Stat Pediatric Immobilizer and Positioner caught my eye. Oh look, a baby in a big plastic tube. It’s Gluttonous Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s… It’s the thing that should not be. It can’t be real, can it?

Cropped view of the Pigg-O-Stat baby immobilzation device. A baby wearing only a diaper stands in a clear plastic tube with its arms pointed upward out of the tube. The baby's legs are not seen as they extend underneath the tabletop.The Pigg-O-Stat is actually for immobilizing infants for radiographic and other medical examinations. It makes your kid sit still for X-ray photos. The device looks bizarre, but keeping kids still during exams is serious business.

Pedia Graph Immobilizer is a similar child-in-a-tube restraint device. The tube sits on a table so the child can be wheeled into different positions for the X-ray photos.

Kids are no doubt traumatized by
the hospital experience and the prospect of being stuffed into a tube by a
stranger. Couldn’t the manufacturer mask this contraption to look like one of Winnie the Pooh’s honey pots? Or do something else, anything else, to make the device appear less scary? Well, as it turns out, I was informed (after writing this article), that a better X-ray is obtained if the child is screaming.

So, to recap, your child is screaming in confusion, you are crying at the sight of your child’s torment, and the X-ray technician is thinking, “Got it! That one’s a keeper!”

Here are a few other immobilizers…

Papoose Boards — a patient restraint system that must feel like having giant Velcro wraps strapped around your body. Don’t miss the sizing diagram.

Circumstraint Board — This looks like the device Captain Kirk gets tied to when the androids clone him. It’s actually an immobilizing board for little boys who are about to have their manhood mutilated. If that little quip bothers you, please check out the other circumcision devices on this page because, you know, circumcision isn’t a trifle decision. [/end rant]

Hug ‘n’ Hold — Finally an immobilization product that won’t ruin your appetite. (You eat at your computer, right?) This is a hook and loop Velcro vest that acts like a 4-point harness. You secure the vest with straps around your changing table to make utterly sure the baby isn’t going anywhere.

Update: Also see Thingamababy’s Revisited: Child Immobilization Devices.

Update #2: Comments on this article are closed. If company representatives are going to argue over their products, posting comments under varying names, be smart enough to not submit your comments from the same IP address. The pertinent user comments have been removed.

Thingamababy is a parent blog! If you want to discuss the benefits of your product, send me a sample of your product for review (if you think me publishing a photo of my screaming daughter being strapped into a restraint device in my living room will help market your product). If you feel you must say something, send me an e-mail using the link at upper right.


3 Responses to “Child Immobilizer Showcase”

  1. Bev says:

    David needed stitches when he was about 18 mos old. They wouldn’t let me come near the table to hold him down (afraid of an hysterical mom, you know). Instead they strapped him to a papoose board. I was allowed to stay in the room–as long as I stayed far away. I was the only one who noticed that David was working his hand out of the strap and was about ready to grasp the doctor’s hand. I was there in a snap to hold him down. He was much calmer having me hold him (“calmer” being a relative term, of course, when you’re talking about sticking a needle and thread into a toddler’s head!)

    September 16th, 2005 at 8:08 am

  2. tod says:

    It’s a sad realism that we need devices like that. My heart goes out to all the parents and children dealing with medical situations that require this kind of stuff.

    Bev: Stupid #$%^& doctors! I hate it when they try to second guess parents and alienate them from the child during treatment. Granted this isn’t all doctors, but it still irritates me. A parent is a child’s biggest comfort and to put them in a traumatic situation while ALSO removing their biggest comfort is just plain stupid.

    Grrr…I think I need more coffee today…feeling a bit irritable. :-|

    September 16th, 2005 at 12:31 pm

  3. Scott says:

    While pigg-o-stats are not my favorite piece of x-ray equipment, it does hold the child still. Radiation has it’s greatest effect on fast-growing tissue (what isn’t in a baby!) so minimization of exposure is our greatest concern. Rotation of the torso can cause false positives (enlarged heart, scoliosis, etc), or mask something that is there. My daughter was in a pediatric ICU for a week because of two factors that gave the wrong results.

    While you might not ‘feel the love’ while the technologist is doing their job, it’s their technical competence that you need. They might not have mentioned that the larger the breath the child takes in, the better diagnostic quality the x-ray is. Hence, crying is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

    November 11th, 2005 at 10:22 am