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A HowdaHUG chair is a slatted portable chair that provides extra vestibular movement for children (and adults) that require a rocking motion when seated on the floor or chair. The seat curves around the back which allows the seat to hug the body. This style of seat has been used for children with low muscle tone. It is available in 3 sizes. The seat is has no armrests or upholstery and is not customisable.

General Details

Method of Use

To get into the HUG, sit on the floor, open the HUG, then scoot back into the chair until your hips are back up against the bottom hinge. To get out of the chair, scoot forward out of the chair. Then fold the chair flat, roll onto one side in a seated position and come up on your knees. Use the chair sitting on its end to push up against, come up on one foot and then on the other and stand up.

The motion of tipping backwards HowdaHUG allows a child to move without being disruptive. When children sit in their HUG it tips backwards, as the child will not yet learned how to balance the chair, most children will "fall" all the way back. Tipping all the way back and coming back up independently or with assistance is a great core strengthening exercise.

Rocking and balancing
Once a child gets the hang of tipping back without falling over, they can learn to balance and rock comfortably. This can be very calming for many children and the movement is so subtle that is does not disrupt others in the vicinity. When rocking or balancing, the more a child pushes against the HUG, the more deep pressure input he receives.

Sensory input
A fleece liner or a weighted lap pad both can be added to the seat should the user require additional sensory input.

Using the HowdaHUG® in a chair

Many children who sit in a school chairs will move and rock the whole chair backwards. Using the HUG in a school chair allows for rocking IN the chair so that the chair itself stays stationary.

To fit the HUG on a chair, cinch the HUG chair closed slightly more than the position of the HUG when used on the floor. Then place the HUG on the chair, but leave 3 or 4 inches of space between the back of the HUG and the back of the chair. This will allow the child to rock back slightly in the HUG on the chair, but will encourage the child not to tip the whole chair over.

When fitting the HowdaHUG seat to a chair, it is advisable that the chair is at least as wide as the HowdaHUG and does not have a significant dip in the back. The seat can be slanted back, but those with a large concave area often do not accomodate the Howdas as well. The manufacturer also advises considering the child's sitting balance is good and that if the seat of the chair is very slippery, you put some kind of non-slip material under the HowdaHUG.

Caution

In order to reduce the possibility of injury, an adult should sit with a child the first time she tries the HUG. Sitting the child in front of a wall, a sturdy bookcase that will not tip, or a large floor cushion, will allow the child to tip back without getting hurt. The floor pillow is often the best thing to place behind a child because he can then tip all the way back and experience the sensation of "how far is too far" and "how do I problem-solve getting back up".

Safety and Usage Advice

Refer to the supplier and manufacturer manual for maintenance instructions and safety warnings.

Extra product information

Features:
Slated back and slated seat base, connected by a hinge that can be adjusted to accommodate tightening and movement in the rocking section angle of the seat. There is 2 straps on either side of the seat with a plastic clip that allows the seat to be formed into a seat shape. When the clips are released the two pieces fall flat and the seat can then be rolled up for storage or transport.

There is a strip of heavy duty material located on the edges and hinged section of the seat. There is no other fabric or upholstery on the HUG.

Customisation:
The seat can not be customised, but it is possible to add a fleece on the seat. There is also the option to use a weighted lap belt or lap tray when using this seat.

Transport:
The seat can be rolled up, like a camping roll, and secured and carried. There is additional option of purchasing a travel bag to fit the HUG seat.

Manufacturer/Country

USA

Warranty

Unknown

Websites

Maintenance

Refer to the supplier and manufacturer manual for maintenance instructions and safety warnings.

Models / Specifications

Model The Petite HowdaHug: Ages 3-6

  • Height Overall 330 mm
  • Width Overall 330 mm
  • Depth Overall 330 mm
  • Load Capacity (supplier stated) 8 kg - 18 kg

Model The HowdaHug2: Ages 5-10

  • Height Overall 400 mm
  • Width Overall 350 mm
  • Depth Overall 350 mm
  • Load Capacity (supplier stated) 10 kg - 45 kg

Model HowdaHug: Ages 7-12

  • Depth Overall 405 mm
  • Width Overall 405 mm
  • Height Overall 400 mm
  • Load Capacity (supplier stated) 10 kg - 56 kg

Suppliers (2)

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SkillBuilders (Cockburn)

Supplier Code Price & Price Notes Hire? Repair? Availability
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The Therapy Store (Northcote)

Supplier Code Price & Price Notes Hire? Repair? Availability
P.O.A unknown unknown

VIC Suppliers

The Therapy Store (Northcote)

Supplier Code Price & Price Notes Hire? Repair? Availability
P.O.A unknown unknown