FLA Orthopedics enters pediatrics

Monday, February 28, 2005

MIRAMAR, Fla. - In response to widespread demand from its provider network, FLA Orthopedics is rolling out new orthopedic supports designed especially for the pediatric market.

Called Supports for Me, the product line includes a broad range of supports and braces that are anatomically designed using body measurements taken from two published medical studies in order to accommodate 95% of the United States’s youth population. Company officials contend that because the specific pediatric body dimensions were taken into account, the supports provide a more precise fit and better overall support than what has previously been available.

FLA Orthopedics launched the new nameplate just after Medtrade 2004 to meet a need identified by HME providers serving the pediatric market, said Rhonda Machin, vice president of marketing. The brand is being produced mainly for retail sales and key consumers will most likely be from the adolescent sports market. Sizes are available, however, from toddlers through pre-teens.

While other pediatric supports have long been available to providers, FLA Orthopedics is characterizing Supports for Me as the next level in children’s orthopedic products.

“Historically, what we’ve seen is manufacturers taking an adult orthopedic brace, shrinking it down and calling it a pediatric brace,” Machin said. “But kids’ dimensions and measurements are somewhat different, so we’ve approached it differently.”

Although the product line doesn’t take up a lot of display space, providers reportedly have access to a comprehensive offering of supports and braces for the most commonly injured areas, including the knee, ankle, elbow and wrist. It also encompasses hard-to-find items, such as clavicle and posture supports, cervical collars and cast shoes, Machin said.

“Response from dealers has been very positive so far,” she said. “What they like about it is that they can easily add a few of these items and not be burdened by a bunch of SKUs. It meets the customer’s needs without adding a lot of inventory.”

The company classifies all infant and pediatric-sized products as “child friendly” in that they are free of latex, harsh buckles and closures. The packaging is designed to help consumers understand product applications and contain complete care and use instructions on the carton or in the enclosed product insert.