Infants in intensive care nurseries often have hand deformities and hand dysfunction. The traditional therapeutic approaches to hand care used in the treatment of adults, young children, and older infants are not always adequate to prevent progressive deformity in preterm and neonatal infants. Medical instability, time constraints, lack of family participation in the therapeutic program, the complexity of the treatment program, and fear of harming the infant are considerations that may indicate the need for splinting as an adjunctive therapeutic intervention. A number of factors are particularly important in making splints for infants, including splint alignment and padding, strap attachment, and thermoplastic malleability.

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