Pediatric physical therapy is a health care profession that encompasses the evaluation and treatment of infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents. It is very important to discover and treat children’s problems early. Research shows that early intervention works well with many pediatric diagnoses including but not limited to ADHD / ADD, ataxia, autism, brachial plexus injuries such as Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, developmental coordination disorder, developmental delays, Down syndrome, gait abnormalities, muscular dystrophy, neurological deficiencies, orthopedic conditions, plagiocephaly, preterm labor, scoliosis, sensory processing disorder, torticollis, toe walking, and traumatic brain injuries.
The entry-level title of physical therapists has changed over the years. It started with the bachelor’s degree, went on to the master’s degree and is now a doctorate in physical therapy. Now small patients are treated by highly professional people to the highest degree possible.
Did you know that not all pediatricians specialize in child development? Only 15% of pediatricians are such specialists. Plus, it’s easy to miss signs of developmental delays during routine visits. That’s when pediatric physical therapists can help.
The physical therapy evaluation usually begins with observing the child’s appearance, movements, activities, and behaviors. You can then continue with the neurological and orthopedic exam, and continue testing with peer-reviewed assessment tools such as the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales – 2 (PDMS-2). The scores are then carefully calculated and conclusions are drawn as to whether the child requires physical therapy intervention.
To treat children, therapists can use stretching, strengthening, heat treatments, aquatic therapy, and joint mobilization. However, children often do not even realize that they are undergoing “therapy.” They participate in games and activities, so they have a lot of fun while exercising and working to improve their health.
Another important part of pediatric physical therapy is family education with exercise programs at home. The family plays a crucial role in the speedy recovery and progress of therapy. To ensure drag, the exercises should be practiced daily.
It is convenient for the pediatric physical therapist to come to the children’s homes to provide care in the natural environment where children spend most of their time. Pediatric home physical therapy companies are happy to help their little patients. If you or someone you know has a child who may benefit from pediatric physical therapy, do your research and find a pediatric home physical therapy company that serves your area.
In addition to monitoring and caring for children’s physical health, pediatric physical therapists always screen children for possible problems in other areas such as speech pathology, occupational problems, as well as delays in learning and behavior. If necessary, they can refer their young patients to other child development specialists. This is how all aspects of child development are covered and children can grow up happy and healthy.