When you hear physical therapy, you might think that is just for athletes or adults who are recovering from an injury. The truth is, children and sometimes even babies need physical therapy so that they can grow up to be their best self. If a child has an injury or a delay in their development, they might have trouble walking, crawling, picking up the drink or even swallowing and physical therapy can help them with these tasks. Physical therapy for children typically helps the parents as well, because the children are hopefully learning to do tasks that their parents have to perform for them.
When your child requires physical therapy they will work with a pediatric therapist, these types of therapists treat children who are under 18. They may work with newborn all the way to teenagers who are under 18 years old. A few reasons a child might see a physical therapist could be bone and muscle issues, sports related injuries, genetic issues, brain issues, spine issues or even nerve disorders.
A pediatric physical therapist job is actually very similar to a regular physical therapist job. Any physical therapy professional who is working with your child is going to have a couple goals: they want to help your child move their bodies when and in a way they want, to the best of their abilities. Oftentimes pediatric physical therapy actually makes children’s lives easier.
You might be wondering what a child does in a physical therapy session and that’s okay. Children need things to be fun or they don’t enjoy themselves. And that’s why most physical therapy that works with children such as the Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab, make it fun. A child’s pediatric physical therapy session needs to feel like they’re playing, the physical therapist should be engaging to the kids with games that are appropriate for their age and skill level, and some tasks that your physical therapists and your child may do together are:
- They may plan a large exercise ball because it helps to build strength.
- They may run or hop around to improve their coordination and ability to walk.
- They may balance on the balance beam to improve their balance.
- They may stand on 1 foot, also to improve their balance.
Your physical therapist is also going to suggest activities to do with your child at home and it is important that you do these activities because you could really hinder your child’s growth. If you have questions about whether your child needs to see a pediatric physical therapist she should talk to the physical therapy office that you have chosen to go to.
Your child might need to recover from sports or non sports related injuries, they may have delay in development which may put them behind their peers, they may not be hitting their milestones, down syndrome children often need physical therapy, along with other genetic disorders. A child may be experiencing muscle weakness, poor coordination, and even have a nerve or muscle condition. All of these things can be helped by pediatric physical therapy.