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Grocery Store Tips for Children with Hemiplegia

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Heading out to the grocery store with your child can provide a good opportunity for incorporation of bilateral hand skills. Here are some suggestions on how to get your shopping done while promoting bilateral hand use at the same time:

  • Have your child help pick up groceries from the shelves - cereal and cracker boxes are lightweight but also large enough to require two hands.
  • Encourage your child to hold a boxes by its side, to facilitate turning of the forearm to a neutral position.
  • Ask your child to hold boxes away from his/her body and reach up with both hands to place the box into the grocery cart.
  • If your child is small and sitting in the front of the cart, encourage him/her to grasp the handle with both hands.
  • If your child is older and ambulatory, use the child-sized carts provided at the store and encourage him/her to push the cart with both hands.
  • When shopping for smaller items, hand two similar-sized items to your child and encourage him/her to hold one item with each hand.
  • Older children can be encouraged to open a freezer door with their affected hand while reaching into the freezer to obtain food with dominant hand.

Try these tips on your next trip to the grocery store, and make them a regular part of your child’s skills practice.

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