Uniflow Straws are a simple yet ingeniously designed drinking aid for those people struggle with sucking on a straw. Illness and disabilities can cause difficulties with both physical and oral motor skills, and people can find it difficult to maintain suction when using ordinary straws.
Many people that experience dysphagia, a difficulty with swallowing and eating, find the innovative one way valve useful. These non return drinking straws allow a pause and rest between sips. It makes it easier to drink and reduces the risk of choking on liquids.
How Do Non Return Valve Straws Work?
Uniflow one way straws use basic physics to provide a rather smart solution to drinking and swallowing with a straw.
Uniflow one-way valve straws keep unconsumed liquid in the straw itself in between sips.
The basic principle is to ensure the liquid can only travel one way once suction is in place, and these non return straws feature a small valve in the base that helps to reduce air intake when in use. This then keeps any unused liquid in the straw itself in between sips.
The diameter of each no return straw is also slightly smaller than that of an ordinary straw of this size, which helps to maintain a reduced yet steadier liquid flow rate. This is ideal for those who may feel overwhelmed when drinking liquids due to their dysphagia.
Who May Benefit From Using Straws with a One-Way Valve?
There are a number of conditions where the risk and discomfort of dysphagia plays a major role in the sufferer’s quality of life. People with multiple sclerosis, or MS, can have have difficulty with swallowing and sucking. This can lead to not only coughing, choking and discomfort whilst drinking, but can then lead to further complications of health such as lung infections and dehydration.
Uniflow’s one-way valve design is ideal for teaching little ones to use a straw
The innovative design of the Uniflow one way drinking straws ensures liquids are consumed at a steady and slow pace. This helps to remove the fear of choking or coughing fits, and to provides piece of mind to those with swallowing difficulties.
Using One Way Valve Straws with Children
Straws with a one-way valve are also ideal for young children and toddlers who are learning to drink from a straw. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make the introduction to straws more simple for children. However, the non-return valve featured in each Uniflow straw actually provides the same outcome without the need to alter ordinary straws, which is perfect for busy parents of children keen to master straw-drinking.
1. To start, cut a regular straw in half. Not only is a shorter straw easier to handle, but it also takes less strength for a child to suck liquid from a shorter straw.
2. Dip the straw into a cup with liquid preferred by the child. Place the tip of your finger over the top of the straw to keep the liquid in the straw. Remove the straw from the cup, keeping the top of the straw covered with your fingertip.
3. Place the straw on the child’s lips at a slightly tilted down angle (so that if you release your finger, the liquid will flow into the mouth).
4. Remove your fingertip, allowing the liquid to flow into the child’s mouth. The goal here is for the child to comprehend that he/she is getting liquid from the straw. As you are doing this, tell the child to “take a sip.”
5. Once the child comprehends the idea of getting liquid from a straw, instruct him/her to close his or her lips around the straw. When the lips are closed around the straw, release your fingertip for the liquid to come out. You may have to provide lip closure exercises to assist the child with this skill. Pinching the lips together may help. Stretching the lips prior to straw drinking may help as well.
Uniflow No Return Straws are designed to be fun and inclusive.
The design of each one way drinking straw is simple and inclusive, with very little visual difference to ordinary straws. The Uniflow no
return straws are sold in packs of 15. Each pack includes several bright and cheery colours that will appeal to adults and children alike. The straws are also disposable, so are ideal for popping in your bag when out-and-about.
Strawberi straw holder and Uniflow straws make the perfect companions
Although these one way straws are not recommended with fizzy or thick drinks (such as smoothies and fiber supplements) they are perfect for warm drinks, juices, cordial and water whether at home or on the go.
The perfect companion to the Uniflow non-return valve straw is the Strawberi straw holder. The Strawberi is a small yet very smart invention that clips on to the side of your glass or cup, and holds your straw in place. This is ideal for hands-free drinking and keeping mess and stress to a minimum when drinking.
Customer Quote from Amazon
These straws are great. My 92 year old mother was finding it increasingly difficult to drink from a cup and didn’t have the strength to keep sucking liquid up through an ordinary straw. These just need sucking up the tube once and then the liquid stays up the tube – she is now drinking lots more liquid. Thoroughly recommend them.
To buy your one way valve straws please click the box below:
@lwdisability Thanks for the lovely article! We’re working on making #uniflow even easier to use (and better value too).
At Living with Disability we’ve been impressed by the work of @touretteshero on Twitter and in the newspapers, battling against prejudice and ignorance. We have been looking at her blog has some pretty interesting and useful gadgets if you have Tourettes Syndrome or in fact a range of conditions which may result in tics such as Myoclonus or Distonia. Some of her ideas could also be considered if you have a stereotypic movement disorder. Today, we’re going to have a look at a simple item which wasn’t designed for those living with disabilities in mind.
A mobile phone wrist strap may seem like a simple invention which helps any mobile phone user keep their phone close at bay and in most senses it is, but reading this great blog post from Tourettes Hero, you can see how useful a wrist strap would be for her situation as it would ensure the phone was safe and accessible whenever it was needed.
There are a huge range of different mobile phone wrist straps out there, as there are with most mobile phone accessories. You can find simple black ones, those that can be adjusted to different lengths and those which keep your phone firmly attached to your wrist. Whichever suits you best is dependent on your own situation and how you access your phone. A wrist strap will ensure it never goes missing or becomes out of reach and you won’t have to worry about it going missing whilst out and about. The wrist strap has been
A Smartphone Wrist Strap
revolutionised as the picture shows, so now even the newest generations of smart phone can be safely secured to your wrist to ensure you have access whenever you need it.
An ingenious idea as Tourettes Hero says and something that you wouldn’t even imagine could be such a help until you look at it in more detail and think how such a simple little thing can be used effectively on a daily basis. There is a huge range available at a range of different prices so you’ll be sure to find one which suits your circumstances. You can even use wrist straps for other gadgets including your camera. Other people might find a wrist strap for walking sticks useful or for an ipod, digital camera or purse.
With a forward by no other than Stephen Fry it looks really interesting:
Meet Jess, aka Touretteshero. Jess has Tourettes Syndrome, which means that she makes sounds and movements over which she has no control. Jess swears, she s one of about 10% of people with Tourettes who do. She says biscuit a lot, about 16 times per minute (that s 6 million a year!), and then there are the sometimes life-threatening arm and leg tics… Tourettes can be tough to live with, often bringing out unpleasant behaviour in people who don t understand it, but it can also be inspiring and, above all, funny. Jess s verbal tics are often truly surreal Leisurewear Velociraptor Training Party! , Capital letters talk to themselves at night or If all the hoofed animals could count there wouldn t be a banking crisis. These excerpts from Jess s personal blog follow a year in her life and the whole spectrum of her experiences. We re introduced to her support network of close friends, including Fat Sister, Leftwing Idiot and King Russell, as well as strangers who can be unpredictably helpful or hurtful. Moving, funny, shocking, tender, and inspiring, Jess s words are courageous and optimistic in the face of the major challenges she faces. Welcome to Biscuit Land.
The Ideal Accessory for your Trabasack Lap Tray and Bag
Trabasack Mini Connect and Media Mount supporting iPad
The newest product in the Trabasack range is designed to make their original products even more versatile and user friendly. The Trabasack Media Mount new, flexible and multi purpose mounting device. Trabasack Media Mount is really useful for supporting things like iPads, the Kindle, and remote controls at just the right angle. In addition to these multimedia devices it can be used with much much more and is already attracting attention from a range of different customers out there.
The Media Mount is made of a similar soft fabric that accepts the velcro hook and loop tape, just as the soft Trabasack Connect surface does. Is also fitted with a versatile Velcro strip to allow it to be stuck safely to your tray surface or manipulated in many ways to hold specific items and even stick to itself to create height. The two large grab handles make it easy to move and flex and it adds next to no weight at all to the Trabasack surface so you don’t need to worry about it feeling heavy or awkward. It is Pictured here with a Trabasack Mini ‘Connect’ – Lap Tray and Bag with velcroable surface, a tablet bag with a soft fabric surface to use your tablet upon.
Uses for your Media Mount
Media Mount supporting the accessible musical instrument The Skoog
You can use the Media Mount in any number of ways. It’s perfect for supporting electronic devices such as your smartphone or tablet device but is equally as good at ensuring your dinner plate is held in position or even securing a cup or juice bottle to your tray surface. There are so many uses once you have your own you’ll surely find new ideas that hadn’t even been thought of.
It’s great in an educational context for supporting communication aids and switches, as well as fun for accessible gaming devices and supporting controllers and much much more. Pictured here it is shown is being used with the amazing accessible musical instrument, the Skoog. Whatever use you have in mind, the Media Mount can be manipulated to support whatever you want to do.
The Media Mount is an excellent addition to your Trabasack tray and bag and will make it even more versatile, practical and user friendly.
Personal care is one of those extremely private concerns which we at Living with Disability understand should be treated with dignity and respect. The Uriwell product range is a fantastic set of products which make dealing with urinary or bladder weakness in both adults and children, providing a means of discreetly and comfortably relieving yourself without having to worry about searching for the less than easy to access toilet facilities or when in the car.
The Original Uriwell
The Adult Uriwell product is designed to be used by unisex customers and allows for easy and discreet urination without worry or upset. It becomes your own portable toilet. It can help you avoid those awkward situations where you are no longer able to hold on and also allows for more dignity and control in situations where there simply is no facility available. Small and easy to store, you can secrete your Uriwell away with no issues and easily access it when necessary. Fitted with a leak proof lid and easy to clean, this product solves a problem for which there may not have been an answer before.
This short video shows the Uriwells specifications and features:
The video doesn’t focus specifically on some of the more common uses of the Uriwell but does show the full range including the children’s HappyPee
HappyPee for Kids
The Bright and Amusing HappyPee
The HappyPee product has been designed with young children in mind and can even be used as a potty training aid for older children, or those who suffer anxiety in public places and therefore would struggle to handle public toilets and such like. As the photo shows the HappyPee has been designed with humour in mind and could easily distract an anxious child from their worries whilst they go. Portable and easy to use, the HappyPee is a great way of ensuring your child feels happy when out and about and needs toilet access. Like the adult Uriwell, the HappyPee is a unisex product.
Reviews for both products have been fantastic, solving many ‘caught short’ problems but also removing the anxiety from trips out and making travelling a much less stressful experience. With your Uriwell to hand you never have to worry about being caught short, suffering from an impromptu accident or anything else.
A recent reviewer said
The product exactly as described, my grandson is most willing to use it – its made going for a wee-wee exciting.
Uriwell have also introduced a multipack option: the Happy Family – Multipack Range. This is a 3 pack including a blue Uriwell, a pink Uriwell (an identical design but in pink), and a Happy Pee, the child friendly shape that can, of course, still be used by adults. Repackage these as gifts or use them yourself as a way of getting 3 uriwells at a very low price. One for the car, one for the bedroom and one for carrying with you.
To purchase any uriwell product click in the relevant box below:
Theraputty is a great product, a great gift idea and a great tool for rehabilitation, maintaining grip and and flexibility. In a range of colours, strengths and tub sizes, you can find the Theraputty that you like best and use it to improve and work on your fine motor skills.
Theraputty is a fun and practical way of strengthening your hand and wrist dexterity and working on your grip. It can be used to develop and improve your fine and gross motor control skills and is brilliant for exercising your hands, fingers and forearm exercises. It can be used in general physio sessions and is also recommended for anybody who has suffered an injury or is recovering from surgery. It comes in a range of colours and four strength levels and as you work on your strength, you can move up to the next level of putty.
Customers are really surprised and happy with the results of using their Theraputty. One customer received NHS advice to get some to support their child with their fine motor skills and saw marked improvement within weeks and there are many comments describing Theraputty as fun as well as challenging which makes therapy sessions much less of a bore. You can work with your Theraputty wherever you are so you can enjoy your favourite TV but work out your fingers and wrists at the same time. Don’t use it for putting in your windows though, it’s not that kind of putty.
This video shows an occupational therapy team demonstrating some great exercises using Theraputty:
Theraputty is a fun theraputic putty to improve dexterity and strength in hands and arms. Recommended by occupational therapist and physiotherapists. If you’re interested in buying some Theraputty for yourself or finding out more, click on the box below:
I like the black theraputty because it’s SUPER stiff and takes a really long time to heat up and get “gooey” like silly putty does. So basically, if you don’t need much resistance then silly putty works. I need lots of resistance so it doesn’t work as well.
We like to find new gadgets or uses of existing products that help people with disabilities. We don't like clinical or stigmatising looking ugly products that make your home look like a hospital ward!
Please leave a comment if you would like to submit a review or suggest a product. You can always talk to us on twitter @lwdisability or facebook. We love to be offered guest posts and happily include your bio with blog link or for a chosen cause or charity.