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What is Pediatric Physiotherapy?

Children are NOT just little adults!
Pediatric Physiotherapy is a vital component to the health and well-being of children who may have any number of conditions, both genetic, acquired or other.
Pediatric physiotherapy is the treatment and care of babies, children and young people from birth to 19 years.
Pediatric physiotherapists bring their specialist skills as physiotherapists and have additional expert knowledge and experience of child development and childhood disabilities.

Pediatric Physiotherapy

What Is a Childhood Disability?

When considering childhood disability it is important to remember that one is dealing with a child and family with a disability. Disability is defined as a state of body or mind which jeopardizes full functioning throughout a significant development stage or the remainder of that person’s life.

  • Defect: a structural or physiological abnormality.
  • Disability: a lack or impairment of a particular capability or skill.
  • Handicap: a condition or set of conditions that hinder or prevent the pursuit or achievement of desired goals.
  • Congenital Conditions: These are conditions that are present at birth. It would however be misleading to imply that all congenital conditions present themselves at birth. Some are apparent, e.g Down syndrome, talipes, and major cardiac defects. Others do not reveal themselves immediately but only become apparent as the infant or child matures, e.g muscular dystrophy, neurofibromatosis, most cerebral palsy and many hearing and sight defects. This group includes intrauterine infections the outcome of which may or may not be apparent at birth, e.g cytomegalovirus, rubella and toxoplasma. Some conditions are genetically linked, e.g muscular dystrophy, and may occur in several children within the family.
  • Acquired conditions: These are conditions that are acquired as a result of for example Illness- encephalitis, meningitis, juvenile chronic arthritis, dermato-myositis, neoplasm, malnutrition, poliomyelitis, etc. trauma- head injury, child abuse, road traffic or playground accidents.
Pediatric Physiotherapy

Benefits of Paediatric Physiotherapy

You are probably asking yourself, what are the main benefits that come with pediatric physiotherapy? We have listed below the essentials involved, the benefits that come with it and the experience your child will get.
Physiotherapy rehabilitation is extremely important after an injury and there is no question that those who go through physiotherapy end up in much better shape in the long run and return to full activity much sooner. Oftentimes, it’s crucial for individuals who have undergone surgery or suffered an injury to receive rehabilitative physiotherapy services to regain the level of activity they had in the past. Because of this, it is very important to take any type of physiotherapy with the utmost importance.

Why Might Your Child Need Pediatric Physiotherapy?

If you’re an infant, children, or adolescents require an improvement in balance and co-ordination, functional activities of daily living, gross and fine motor skills, movement, musculoskeletal posture issues, strength and endurance, play-based learning skills, sensory issues, delayed social skills, cognitive and communication skills.

Where Does Pediatric Physiotherapy Work?

Pediatric physiotherapists may work in a variety of settings:

  • Child’s home
  • Schools
  • Nurseries
  • Clinics
  • Child Development
  • Centres
  • Children’s Centres
  • Hospitals
  • Hospices
Pediatric Physiotherapy

7 Conditions Treated by a Paediatric Physiotherapist

Cerebral Palsy or Other Movement Disorders
You may not have heard this, but early physiotherapy intervention for children diagnosed with a neurological condition movement disorder has been shown to improve function in young children.

  • Torticollis
    Torticollis is a condition when your child presents with shortened neck muscles, causing your child to favour looking and prefer neck movement in one direction. This can have profound effects on skull development and if left untreated can cause facial asymmetries, skull deformities, and delays in gross motor development. Early intervention by a pediatric physiotherapist can greatly help to prevent all of the above.
  • Sports Injuries & Orthopedic Conditions
    Pediatric physiotherapists are well trained in how to treat your developing child’s musculoskeletal injuries. They can assess your child’s physical injuries and use age-appropriate interventions to ensure a safe return to sports or other activities.
  • Posture
    Pediatric physiotherapists help. With a keen eye, they can address key areas to help improve your child’s posture and alignment!
  • Floppy or Low Tone
    You have noticed that your child has a hard time keeping their head in midline, or they seem to have difficulty moving or maybe they just seem “floppy”! Your child could have low tone or hypotonia. Pediatric physiotherapists are great at evaluating tone and have proven techniques to help improve your child’s tone!
  • Coordination
    Maybe your child can’t catch a ball or skip or maybe their run just looks a bit awkward. It could be their coordination. This is an area that pediatric physiotherapists address all the time.
  • Toe Walking
    Children don’t just outgrow toe walking. As they develop their toe walking develops with them. You need a solid approach to address the toe walking and oftentimes you don’t just address the feet. Pediatric physiotherapists can help with this too!

These are all just a snapshot of what pediatric physiotherapists can treat. pediatric physiotherapists can treat just about any condition that impairs movement, balance, or coordination.

Don’t trust your child’s care to anyone but a qualified physiotherapist. Give us a call and let’s see what we can do for your child!

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