You probably know I’ve had my eye on the Splashy special needs bath support seat since they first came out.. I wrote about it back in February, so you can imagine my delight when the postman arrived with a delivery from Firefly this week containing Williams very own Splashy seat!
My very first thought was “how come this box isn’t very heavy?” I mean I know I am used to carrying William around (and at 21kg he isn’t exactly light) but I’m not really all that strong and I was shocked that this box had hardly any weight to it at all. Anyone used to disability equipment will know it usually weighs a ton!
Once I unpacked the box I was even more surprised, honestly whoever designed this should win some sort of award because not only have they designed something which looks brilliant, they’ve done it without the need for their customers to use any screws, bolts or allen keys to put it together. Honestly, I am so shocked at how simple this piece of kit is to put together (Ikea please take note!)
The seat itself comes in 3 parts, the base, the seat and the backrest. They slot together so easily even a woman can do it.
*hear the sarcasm in my voice, of course a woman can do it, we know how to read instructions*
The seat and all the accessories are made from a really lovely soft material which feels a little like the foam they make flip flops or crocs from, they are completely water resistant and warm to the touch, which is a really lovely idea as most bath supports are cold hard monstrosities with scratchy netting and uncomfortable straps.
The Splashy has an adjustable backrest so you can sit your child nice and upright or choose to recline it a little if that is easier for them. There are also optional bumpers you can place wherever you like to be used as head or lateral supports or you could used them as a pommel if you wish, you get 4 bumpers with the seat but you can also buy extras if you want to.
The harness is genius, it is made from similar materials and has plastic straps which don’t soak up water, so no more puddles from soggy straps drying out! And because they won’t be soaking wet, there’s no risk of having to put up with cold straps when they’re still damp from the last time you used it!
We have a height adjustable Astor Bannerman bath and the Splashy fits with plenty of space to spare. You can see how much space the seat base needs below
William has always be laid flat in the bath with only a few inches of water, so sitting upright was a real novelty for him and we were able to make bath time a little bit more fun with some toys and a lot of splashing which he loved. I also found it was far easier to wash his hair as he was sitting more upright.
When it came time to wash him, it was a case of simply reclining him a little which we could do without any hassle. He could then have a full body wash safely as the straps are designed so you can release each strap individually via a simple toggle at the back to give you easy access while washing.
After his bath, we simply took the seat apart, keeping it in 2 pieces and it was able to lay flat in the bath under the changing table for storage as this bath is only used for William. But if you need to store it elsewhere, it is very light and folds nice and flat.
My only real negatives about this seat would be :
a) that it doesn’t come in bigger sizes. William is now 8 and there’s not a whole lot of room for growth left in this which is a real shame, perhaps Firefly might consider making a larger size at some point.
b) it is difficult for us to use this seat if we want to hoist William out of the bath, because we usually hoist up and then fold the changing table down to lay him on. The height of the chair means we can’t do that and would have to take the chair apart or remove it before we can put the changing table down so it would mean William is left in the hoist for a few minutes. Not impossible, but certainly tricky. If the seat could recline a little more without taking it apart then this issue would be solved easily.
We also tried this seat outside over the weekend, who knew a chair and a large bowl of water would be so much fun! William LOVED it which makes me think it would be ideal for a paddling pool on a hot day in the summer holidays!
I will certainly be telling our OT and the other professionals who work with William about this seat as I am sure there are a lot of other children they know who would benefit from this. At a cost of £295.00 it is not as expensive as a lot of other special needs equipment on the market (we had to pay over £800 for a car seat last year!)
The only thing this product makes me wonder is, if Fireflycan get this so right, how come so many other companies aren’t following their lead and making disability aids that look great and are practical too?
If you’d like to find out more about this product and other special needs equipment manufactured by Firefly please click here.
*This is a sponsored post but all views expressed are my own, honest opinions.
**This post also includes affiliate links which won’t affect your purchase but may earn me a small referral fee.