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Safer Moving and Handling Advice for Parents and Carers

If as a parent or carer you are in any doubt of how to move and handle your child safely, discuss your issues with your Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist. They will be able to discuss what techniques and equipment that may help you move and handle your child more safely.  If you do not have access to a Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist, then speak with your GP.

Good moving and handling is all centred on using safer positions for your body to move, if you get this right this helps the muscles work more efficiently and enables them to be less tired.

So what are the principles you can use to move and handle children safely?

  1. Keep your child close to you when you are lifting, or hoisting them, this means that they are safer and it encourages your body to be in a better position.
  2. Adopt a Step Standing position, with slightly bent knees, this position helps if you are rolling your child on the bed for personal care.
  3. Maintain an upright (natural standing position) posture, try to avoid over bending, overreaching or twisting when lifting or moving your child. Think about how long you hold a bending posture for, for example when fastening them into supportive seating, try not to maintain a static bending position for more than about 20 seconds, as this tires the muscles in your back more quickly.
  4. Get a good hold of your child, try to avoid gripping under the armpits to lift them out of their seating systems or bed use your hands in a curved CARING position and your arms to lift them. The saying is PAWS not CLAWS. Use the Hoist when you can.
  5. Communication, talk to your child and tell them what you are doing and encourage them to help you and join in when possible.

Use height adjustable equipment where available - beds should be between hip and waist height

  • Use good rolling techniques for personal care
  • Use hoisting equipment where you can
  • Use small handling aids where available such as dressing sleeves, slide sheets for movement in bed
  • Use correct techniques for pushing wheelchairs
  • Always ask for help
  • Go on a moving and handling course
Last updated: 11/03/2021

Useful links

National Back Exchange - moving and handling advice