Whenever you’re lifting your child, you need to take care to avoid injuring your back. Physios and occupational therapists (OTs) can provide advice on the best ways to lift and move your child. They can also provide advice on equipment such as hoists.

Hoists provide a mechanical way of lifting and moving your child from one place or position to another (sometimes called transferring) . You may need a hoist if moving your child puts too much strain on you or there's a risk of harming your child when you move them. So, you may need a hoist when your child gets bigger and heavier, to move them from their bed into their wheelchair, or from their wheelchair onto a toilet or a shower seat. 

A hoist is usually a strong metal frame which has a lifting mechanism operated manually or powered by battery or electricity. A sling on a ‘spreader bar’ is suspended from the frame or lifting arm to support your child as they're lifted.

Your OT will be able to assess your child and your needs, advise on the most suitable hoist and slings and arrange provision. They and / or the supplier of your hoist will make sure you have the training you need to use the hoist safely.

Any hoists and slings you have should be serviced regularly as advised by the manufacturer. This may be carried out by the manufacturer or the supplier- or arranged by the local community equipment service if your hoist is supplied though statutory services.

Page last reviewed / updated: April 2021
Next review due: April 2022