The standard methods for testing grip strength can cause pain and inhibit accuracy of results when persons have rheumatic diseases. The first purpose of this study was to gather data on grip strength of typical children 3 to 7 years of age using the modified sphygmomanometer technique. Modified grip strength testing requires the person to squeeze an inflated sphygmomanometer (blood pressure device). Gender, age, height, weight, hand preference, and grip strength of 273 children 3 to 7 years old were recorded. Results illustrate that grip strength increases steadily from younger to older children. No differences were noted related to height, weight, or grip strength between girls and boys. The second purpose of this study was to compare the grip strength of a preliminary sample of children with rheumatic disorders to the grip strength of a sample of typical children. Results indicate that grip strength of the sample of 17 children with rheumatic disorders was significantly lower. This study offers therapists some guidance about grip strength expectations for children aged 3 to 7 years that can then be applied to a variety of special populations.

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