Frequently Asked Questions – Next Step Kids

Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Inc. understands the nagging questions on your mind about your child’s prosthetic care and life as an amputee. It is our hope that this list of answers to frequently asked questions aids you and your family. Feel free to contact us if you would like more specific information.

Please also refer to the FAQ’s on our Bionics & Prosthetics page.

Q: Are there other children with limb differences for my child to meet?

A: We regularly put families in touch with each other so children can see what is possible with a prosthesis. We also encourage your child to get involved in activities, like adaptive sports and summer camps, that allow them to meet other children with amputations. Take a look at what our Next Step Kids are up to on our blog and social media pages.

Q: Are there other parents to talk to about caring for a child with an amputation?

A: One of the most important aspects of pediatric care at Next Step is bringing families together to exchange information and support each other. We create opportunities for families to connect during appointments, at special events, and through our social media. This extends to parents, siblings, grandparents, and other relatives of the children.

Q: How long do prosthetic limbs last for children?

A: Although the prosthesis itself is very durable, the liners, sleeves, socks, and other supplies wear out and usually need to be replaced a couple of times each year. Because the custom socket interface must fit well, periodic adjustments are required, and replacement is necessary as the child grows. This happens about as often as a child outgrows shoes, approximately about once per year. Click here for more information about the prosthetic process.

Q: Can my child maintain an active lifestyle with a prosthesis?

A: Next Step wants children to be as active and social as possible. Sometimes this involves modifications to their prostheses, but generally, most activities are possible for children with limb differences. We work with our pediatric clients and their families to make their goals accessible and provide Next Step Kids with chances to excel.

Q: Are there recreational activities that my child can enjoy with a prosthesis?

A: At Next Step, we promote physical activity for all of the children that we serve, and various opportunities are available regionally and nationally. Our clients utilize and our employees volunteer for the following organizations within the amputee community:

Stay in touch with us about upcoming events and find other support resources here.

Q: Can children with limb differences go in the water with their prostheses?

A: Most prostheses are water-resistant; so getting it wet by accident is not an issue. However, a standard prosthesis should not be submerged or used for bathing and swimming. As a result, Next Step fits prostheses that are specially designed for water use. This is just one of the many products and technologies for children.

Q: Does a prosthesis ever hurt the child when it is used?

A: Sometimes a prosthesis can be uncomfortable to wear, but it should never hurt your child. That is why we schedule regular follow-up appointments for our prosthetists to watch the fit as the child grows. We ask parents to contact us right away with any concerns about a child’s prosthesis or residual limb.

Q: What does a prosthesis look like, and is it possible to customize it?

A: Prostheses are custom-made, and upon evaluating the child and discussing goals, the intended use, and any likes or dislikes, we can create a prosthetic device to meet the criteria. Some children or parents prefer a prosthesis that looks as natural as possible, but a lot of children want their prostheses personalized with custom laminations that reflect their personalities. Recent examples of these patterns include Sponge Bob, flames, the Celtics, and frogs with flowers.