Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
Burton Bike: the bicycle you hope you never see
Behold the Burton Bike!
Your child is Tigger in the photo. Sit your toddler down on the bike, secure him with the elastic band to the blue vertical board, and start snapping images.
Yep. This “bike” is for immobilizing young children for radiographic and other medical examinations. It makes your kid sit still for X-ray photos. The folks behind Burton Bike asked if I would be so kind as to share my impression of its “appearance, safety and effectiveness.”
Well, without a review sample to run through a rigorous testing regiment in Thingamababy’s medical product testing ward, I must forgo judging its safety and effectiveness. But I certainly have an opinion of its appearance.
Me and baby immobilization go way back. I began critiquing these devices in 2005 with the Pigg-o-Stat and Pedia Graph Immobilizer. Feelings ran strong on the Pigg vs. Pedia issue and I had to delete comments and close the discussion. Suffice to say, at the end of the day, both of those products stuff babies into clear plastic tubes. No, really.
I wrote at the time, “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?”
In that respect, the Burton Bike is on the right track… a tiger-striped bike, Winnie the Pooh baby mobile, and a plush Tigger. That’s okay so long as the kids forget that Tigger’s signature activity is bouncing… not so good for X-ray imaging.
Also, one Thinga-reader commented in 2005 that a better image is captured if the child is taking a deep breath. In other words, you want the child to be crying if you’re trying to get a picture of the lungs. I don’t know if that’s true, but so long as you’re dealing with a toddler instead of an infant, you can probably ask the child to take a deep breath.