The Splashy retailing at $399.00 USA dollars (including shipping and handling costs), makes it a favorable choice for many parents who face a multitude of out of pocket medical, therapy and equipment costs. There was much speculation and buzz surrounding Firefly's choice in pricing and the special needs community was pleasantly surprised when the price of the Splashy was announced. Firefly maintains a commitment to make special needs equipment as affordable as possible for families.
What makes the Splashy so unique from competitor models in bath seats, is it's simplistic design, it's ability to be universal to meet the variety of multiple different postural needs that exist from child to child, it's ability to be extremely travel friendly, light weight, sits flush with the bath tub floor to allow a child to be completely submerged from the waist down, and of course most importantly offering children with special needs a typical bath time experience full of fun, opportunity and family participation.
Noah received his Splashy a few days after the launch - shipping continues to be fast and timely with Firefly and items are dispatched quickly. In true Firefly style, the box came printed with the Firefly's logo and the Splashy advertisement on the box making it an easily identifiable fun package to receive. I decided when I took it out of the box that I was going to put it together without even glancing at the provided instructions. I wanted to know exactly how simple or complicated the bath chair was going to be. It came in four sections, the back, the bottom, the base, and harness and supports. The back and bottom thread together easily and snap in place, the back and bottom slide into place in glider sections for the back and bottom to provide support.
The Splashy can convert from a five point harness to a 3 point harness depending upon the child's needs. It has 26 different recline options, that are small groves in the back of the chair. I am using the Splashy on the lowest reclined setting, which still keeps Noah's head well above the water line.
One of the cutest features is that the Splashy comes with a little rubber ducky which I think is a sweet feature that Firefly has included a toy as a part of the packaging of this bath chair. I really like to see special needs equipment vendors adding little touches to their products that make children feel included, important and thought of. It makes the child feel as if they received a gift, not just a device that is required for their safety during bathing. I must say that our son adored the little ducky and did his best to use his hands to chase it as it went around and around in our jetted tub.
I've received a lot of questions from other parents about the Splashy - below is a Q&A:
Q: Is the Splashy covered by insurance?
A: Not at the present time, but Firefly is working on that at this very moment and hopefully in the near future it will be.
Q: Does it have a headrest?
A: It has bumper pads that you can position to be a head rest either on the sides or behind the back of the head.
Q: How lightweight is it?
A: It is likely the lightest piece of equipment we own. Noah's little brother who is five can carry it around independently.
Q: How comfortable is the material for children who have sensory challenges?
A: The material feels a bit like plastic covered foam, the Splashy logo however is embossed in the lower back which provides for a slight raised texture. That may be problematic for some children, but could be easily rectified by placing a small wash cloth behind the child's back. The harnesses are a soft padded plastic and when wet, does not seem to cause any skin irritation.
A: It's very easy to clean and I clean ours with mild, plant-based, non-toxic cleaners.
Q: How sturdy is it for children with high tone?
A: Noah has extremely high tone and the device is very stable, it does not tip to either side nor does and recline settings in the back are very strong.
Q: Can you use the Splashy as a floor sitter like the GoToSeat?
A: Yes, technically you could use the Splashy as an activity floor sitter, however the Splashy cannot be strapped into a chair and would have to remain on the floor base to be functional.
Q: How easily does it fit into a suitcase?
A: It fits into a standard sized suitcase, slightly bigger than carry-on size, so you would have to check it at the gate if you were traveling by airplane.
Conclusions & Ratings:
I would give the Splashy a 4 out of 5 stars. I do wish it had a tad bit more recline ability and a slightly wider head rest area. And the suction cups aren't dependable in the bottom of our textured tub, but the product does not lift due to the weight of the child. I also continue to wish for a storage/travel bag for the product. However, the Splashy is absolutely a worthwhile purchase. There is no other bath seat on the market that can go from ages 1 to 8, which is a huge cost savings for families throughout the years. It offers so many family participation opportunities from the family backyard wading pool, to sibling fun in the tub, to a day out at the water park, and you can travel anywhere with it easily. It's not just a bath seat that is confined to your family's bath tub.
It is my shared hope that Firefly will continue to expand it's line to include older children, as I've adored Firefly's products for years and of course worry about what I'll do without them as Noah grows older. Their products have made his life so much easier and full of joy and I want to be able to carry those same beautiful opportunities into his early teen years. For now, I remain so grateful that Noah is smaller in size and continue to benefit from the Firefly line for a few more years to come.
If you haven't purchased your Splashy yet, here's the link to head over and check it out! http://bit.ly/FireflyFriendsSW
Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.