Forearm crutches are different than crutches you may see when someone breaks a leg. They have “cups” that the arms slips into just below the elbow. Forearm crutches are convenient because a person may let go of a crutch to walk down the stairs, pick something up, etc. and it will stay attached to the arm unlike other crutches.
Michael started to use forearm crutches around the age of 7. They are functional and convenient for short distances, traveling, storage, and carrying. One does need to be careful around slippery surfaces though. Michael has fallen about 1,000 times and he is an absolute pro at it. No one in our family thinks much of it, and it always takes me a moment when a stranger sees him falls and shows concern. Michael hops up faster than he goes down and usually he’s laughing. Now that he’s older he can get embarrassed around strangers, but at home we just walk around him.
When Michael was around the age of 8, we were heading to the library. He went outside ahead of me and slipped on our wet slippery deck (it had just rained). His head was bleeding profusely. I rushed him to the hospital. He had a perfect little hole that required three stitches, but otherwise was fine.
My point, Michael was walking with his crutches the very next day. Don’t let fear stop you or your child from moving forward. We have the tendency to want to protect our children and we should. If you show apprehension, your child will sense it and be afraid.
What did I learn? I’m always cautious about slippery areas. When walking with Michael I’m aware of my surroundings – it’s just natural. If in doubt, I will take his elbow as we walk. He really doesn’t appreciate it always, but if he is going to fall, it will soften the blow.