Rhino Harness

What is a Rhino harness?

A Rhino harness is an orthosis that your baby needs to wear to treat developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). It consists of a plastic removable harness lined with foam that is worn over the nappy or underwear.

How to attach the harness:

  • Place the Rhino harness down with the hole towards the table
  • Lay your child down in the Rhino harness with their legs out to the sides
  • Fasten the leg straps as firmly as possible to ensure there is no movement in your child’s legs allow a finger space between the foam and the leg.
  • Fasten the tummy strap leaving room for a few fingers underneath.


Nappy changes The Rhino harness needs to be removed for nappy changes. Clothes Clothes need to be worn underneath the Rhino harness. Car seats and prams Some prams are quite narrow and you may have trouble fitting your baby in comfortably when they are wearing the Rhino. The Rhino needs to be removed to fit baby into a car seat. Bathing You may remove the Rhino harness to bath your baby. Cleaning the brace If necessary, you can clean the harness with cold, mild soapy water. Ensure the harness is completely dry afterwards to avoid irritating the skin. Do not expose the brace to extreme heat (e.g. hot hairdryer, direct sun) as it may warp the shape. Crawling and walking Many babies learn to crawl and/or walk whilst wearing the Rhino harness. Crawling and walking in the harness isn’t usually a problem; however, very occasionally extra pressure through the harness can cause the plastic to buckle between the legs. This means that the hips may no longer be sitting at the correct angle. If you notice a fracture line or bend in the plastic between the legs, please contact us. Tummy time Tummy time can be continued while your baby is wearing the Rhino if you monitor them closely. Most babies don’t appear to be uncomfortable on their tummy in the Rhino but if you are worried about this then prop a thin pillow underneath your baby’s chest to help with positioning. Getting used to the Rhino harness It will take you and your baby a little while to adjust to wearing the Rhino harness. Each baby reacts differently to the harness – some don’t notice they are wearing it and others become quite unsettled for days, this is normal. The harness is not causing your baby any pain; it is just frustrating as they cannot kick their legs freely while wearing the harness. Follow up appointments The orthopaedic surgeon or paediatrician will regularly review your child’s hips throughout the length of the treatment. The Rhino harness does not need regular checks and has been fitted to allow you baby to grow into it. We do need to review the Rhino every three months. If you are concerned about the fitting of the harness at any stage please phone us and book an appointment. Please remember: 
  • The Rhino brace is not causing your baby pain – they may cry until they are used to wearing the harness, this is normal. Please persist with the Rhino harness treatment!
  • Do not adjust then harness yourself.
  • Please phone us if you are concerned about the fitting of the Rhino harness.
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