Where did Happy Strap come from?

The Happy Strap was designed and developed in 2007 by Janet Wichmann, for her son, Jens. Jens has low muscle tone (hypotonia) and at a very young age he started displaying startling laxity of the hips. From a sitting position, with legs splayed at almost 180°, he would lie down between his legs and then move his legs around the outside of his body resulting in him being prostrate on the floor. He would then sit up using the reverse motion. Janet had been warned about how damaging this rotation of the hips could be and went about designing something to counter this problem.

The prototype of the Happy Strap was designed and made specifically for Jens to provide greater stability at the hips while promoting improved posture and movement. The Happy Strap effectively and efficiently kept his legs from splaying and helped him tremendously achieve his developmental milestones. When beginning to walk, the Happy Strap ensured that he would move with improved lower extremity alignment while promoting more active knee flexion (as opposed to walking ‘stiff-legged’ and abducted). It also assisted greatly with his stability and balance.

By age 3½ years, Jens was a very active little boy who walked steadily, climbed well and moved incredibly fast, yet he was happier and more confident wearing his Happy Strap than not. During the following 6 months he was “weaned” off it and stopped using it completely by around the age of 4 years.

Janet’s wish is for every little hypotonic body to enjoy – from as young an age as possible – the same benefits, assistance and stability as Jens has had – and to make life a little easier for these children by increasing their mobility through stability.

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