The PBC consists of a rectangular frame that connects to a belt with magnets. The base of the cane slides along the floor with approximately one inch clearance in between the two cane tips. The cane frame remains forward of the wearer during ambulation with minimal need for a user to employ corrective hand control on most surfaces (see Figure). The design ensures that adults were responsible for the device being used, without having to constantly be in contact with the child or the PBC.
Pediatric belt canes are an effective developmentally appropriate mobility tool because the belt makes it possible for toddlers and preschoolers who are BVI to easily maintain consistent placement of the protective mobility frame which allows them to independently detect obstacles in the path ahead. The pediatric belt cane is an effective barrier able to reduce unwanted, unavoidable direct bodily contacts.
Donning the Pediatric Belt cane
The belt is fastened about the hips so that it fits snugly and comfortably
Choose the correct frame for location
The daily frame is the correct cane length for the learner’s height and should be used during most activities and in most locations. Also, the cane tips on the daily frame are reinforced by steel plates which allows them to glide over most surfaces.
The tight-spaces frame is 90% of the length of the daily frame, allowing closer inspection of forward objects and the cane tips are positioned to reduce catching on furniture. The tight-spaces frame is intended for indoor home environments.
Attach the cane frame. The belt cane frame is positioned to allow the magnets to securely click into their respective connectors on either side of the belt.
Doffing the pediatric belt cane
Press one corner of the magnet pod located on the belt to release the frame. Once one side is free, the other easily pulls away.
To unfasten the belt, peal the top end edge away from the bottom piece.
Limit wearing belt without frame
Introduce wearing the belt cane as a unit. You might have the student hold the frame with two hands and push in front to demonstrate the purpose of the cane frame to the student and assist in the transition to clicking the frame magnets onto the belt- saying "the cane will protect you and you don't have to hold it all the time”. The more your student wears the belt cane as a unit the better the acceptance.
As students grow, they will need a larger size belt cane until they are able to transition to hand-held mobility tools. Older students can learn to disconnect the frame to begin pushing it as a rectangular cane. The most important outcome is that they use a safe mobility tool every day, most of the day.