Burton Bike: the bicycle you hope you never see

Behold the Burton Bike!

Photo of a orange and black striped bicycle mounted on a pedestal with a blue board mounted at a 90 degree angle behind the seat and a baby mobile suspended from the device in front of the rider. A plush stuffed Tigger is seated on the bicycle and restrained on the blue board via an elastic band.

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.

See previously:


5 Responses to “Burton Bike: the bicycle you hope you never see”

  1. Kathleen says:

    Okay so I am confused….this is supposed to immobilize a child????? There is no way on God’s green earth that my son would sit still on a bike to take an xray (short of a straight jacket, LOL). As for the mobile, it may have held his attention when he was a few months old but now he’d be all about trying to get at it….again no immobilization.
    Plus call me crazy but what is the actual purpose of the handlebars? I mean the kid is strapped to the seat, he can’t even reach them unless he has freakishly long arms. I guess they are decoration?

    Instruction Manual:
    Lead child to Burton Bike
    Strap child in
    Child is so stunned by a gazillion things going on he doesn’t notice xray taken (must have quick techs for this bike)
    XRay over, child crying because he can’t play on neat toy because time is money and they need it for the next kid……
    Insurance bill for fancy toy???? (OUTRAGEOUS, I’m sure.)
    Honestly, I’ll stick with the old “battle axe, no nonsense, I’ve seen everything” nurse anyday….she always gets the job done with minimal fuss and disruption….no fancy gadgets needed.

    October 7th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

  2. gertie says:

    My youngest daughter had to have a chest x-ray at two months to rule out pneumonia. She was strapped into something that looked very similar to the Pigg-O-Stat that you reviewed earlier. The hardest part was trying to comfort my (also sick) two year old. “Why did the doctors shove your sister into a Plexiglas tube and then leave her in that room to cry? That’s an excellent question, sweetie.”

    I can see where a childrens’ hospital might get something like this to put patients at ease. My infant wouldn’t have been able to use it, but I can see where it would make a surreal and scary experience just a little bit easier for an older baby or toddler.

    October 7th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

  3. AJ says:

    Kathleen, excellent point. A better photo would resolve some of your concerns about immobilization. A child is restrained by chest and leg straps. His arms are held up into the air and restrained by two additional straps on each arm. I suppose some wriggling (?) might be possible, but little Bruce Banner isn’t going to bulge into The Hulk and go running off down the hospital corridor.

    Gertie, FYI, my original Pigg-o-State article was laden with humor, but a couple years ago I apparently sickened a mother whose child used one and she really, really couldn’t appreciate the humor. It’s why this post is sorted into a category called “Unusual” now instead of “Funny.”

    October 8th, 2009 at 9:32 am

  4. Nadia says:

    I guess you could always try explaining the procedure to the child. If they don’t understand why they’re being restrained in a weird position, my best bet for stimulus to distract them would be their parent. I remember plenty of nurses administering x rays and the such when I was a kid not telling me what they were doing, and having a mother there to translate for me made it a million times less scary. Fluffy animals and bright colours were less helpful.

    October 8th, 2009 at 9:53 am

  5. Nicki says:

    No child restraint devices aren’t fun or fun looking, but parents don’t hold their kids still enough for x-rays. So as a parent and a healthcare professional, I would rather put my child through a few minutes of misery than a lifetime of cancer caused by repeated x-ray exposures because the staff couldn’t get a diagnostic film.

    October 12th, 2009 at 11:22 am

Post a comment

(will not be published)