Hand Splints

Hand SplintsExcess muscle tone in the arm and hand of children with hemiplegia is very common.  The pattern for most children is one of extension.  Occupational therapists may recommend hand splints or braces for the children to help with stretching the muscles, keeping the hand in a more functional position, and providing sensory input.

Parents Speak

Child Keeps Taking Off Hand Splint

My daughter’s hand splint works well – if she will just keep it on! She wears the McKie splint. The best solution for us is a combination of the supinator strap (secures around the upper arm and this makes it difficult for the child to remove) and layers of self adhesive plastic stretchy bandaging tape around the outside of the splint. It also helps to ahve a long sleeved shirt over the supinator strap. You can also try sewing a snap onto the splint. – Glenda

Baby Wearing Hand SplintA short Benik splint can be difficult for some children to remove. It covers the hand, so some parents use functional kinesio tape (one inch) just around the thumb web, palm and back of the hand. You can also try a full piece of kinesio tape on the back of the hand, starting from cut out fingers and a small pull just past the wrist, then smooth the middle with the hand down position. – Diane

If your child just refuses to wear the hand splint, maybe it’s time to begin working on verbal reminders. Remind him to use his hand or the familiar, “You’ve got two hands,” reminder may help. Massage, streching, crawling, climbing and obstacle course type activities can provide input to the hand and arm. We put stickers on or tape tracings of his open hand on the kitchen table and have him put his open hand on there while he eats. Whenever we have quiet time or read books and he sits in my lap, I’ll massage his hand open. – Melanie

American Society of Hand Therapists

Grasp Study – Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Girl with Hand Splint Playing

Relation between clinical measures and fine manipulative control in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy Journal article, 1999

Ultraflex® manufacturer of custom bracing and neuromuscular stimulation treatment for spasticity reduction in children who have hemiplegia

McKie Splints affordable pediatric splinting products

The Joe Cool Company manufacturers of soft pediatric thumb abduction splints and gloves

Benik Corporation pediatric hand splints and pediatric wrist supports

TruGrasp Hand Splint – website no longer available – check with your child’s therapist for this product

The Medi-Kid Company pediatric immobilizers

Second Skin Splint

A Second Skin Splint in made out of lycra and specially measured to fit the child’s arm or hand, and sometimes both.  It puts pressure on certain parts of the arm or hand, depending on where needed, to create awareness of the arm/hand and a certain amount of resistance. They are made in Australia, not available in the US at the moment, but are available in the UK.