Pediatric physical therapy helps children gain strength and independence. It aids in meeting physical goals. It also helps build emotional strength and confidence along with physical strength.
Children with developmental disabilities need exercise the same way their non-disabled peers do. Targeted physical therapy aids in developing balance and gross motor skills.
It even leads to better socialization with peers and attentional focus.
Our professionals at NB Physical Therapy may use a variety of adaptive equipment. to help children meet their goals. And they have fun at the same time!
The following are some types of equipment for pediatric physical therapy.
A pediatric scooter helps children develop strength. They develop the ability they need to propel themselves forward.
This allows them to develop something called proprioceptive strength and better neuromotor control.
Turtle Therapy System
The Tumbleforms company has developed the Turtle Therapy System. Children with special needs sometimes lack vestibular strength. The vestibular system is a sensory system that contributes to balance and spatial orientation.
Some children have difficulty coordinating movement with balance, which leads to falls. Rocking and spinning are movements that can help to improve vestibular strength.
The Tumbleforms Turtle Therapy System is a piece of equipment for pediatric physical therapy that accomplishes just that. It has a rocking turtle dome, plus a padded scooter, and a net swing.
Gait trainers give independence to children who cannot stand on their own otherwise. The trainers come with harnesses and pelvic stabilizers for support.
They also serve as resistance options for controlling gait speed. A gait trainer provides children access to mobility. It also allows them to strengthen their mobility skills during pediatric physical therapy.
Swings for Sensory Integration
Sensory integration is a critical issue for special needs children. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have a need for sensory integration therapy and there is a variety of equipment for pediatric physical therapy in this area.
Some swings provide full support that aids in sensory integration. An alternative is a net swing device that includes an element of strength training for the child’s limbs. Either way, swinging is a beneficial activity for pediatric physical therapy.
A positioning wedge or therapy wedge is a comfortable, practical tool. It helps children increase their tolerance of a prone position. It can also be used to improve a child’s stability and head control.
Therapeutic wedges help children gain strength for gross motor activities. Some of these activities include walking on an incline, or up a hill. These wedges are part of nearly every pediatric physical therapy regiment.
Three-Wheel Tricycle Cruiser
The Mobo Triton Three Wheel Tricycle Cruiser provides excellent cardio workouts. It builds stamina and is on the lesser expensive end due to its simplicity. It has an adjustable frame.
Children can continue their physical therapy treatment as they grow. There are different models of the Mobo three-wheel cruisers.
Though, the Triton is the model for younger children age 6 to 12 years old who have special needs. The extra wheel allows a child to ride who cannot control a standard two-wheel bicycle.
The Somatron fitness rocker is for sensory stimulation. While a child reclines in the rocker, he or she feels music vibrations. The rocker’s design focuses on the principles of vibroacoustic therapy (VAT).
VAT therapy centers on the idea that life itself centers on vibration. The human body is almost all fluid, so the vibrations in the rocker move the fluid and produce calm.
The rocker is typically used for adults and children with cancer and emotional issues. It can also be helpful for those with ADHD and post-surgery pain.
It helps calm restless behavior. For these reasons, you these rockers are another helpful piece of equipment for pediatric physical therapy.
Slide and Climber Unit
The Kidsfit Slide and Climber Unit is a playground. It provides cognitive, emotional, physical, and, social benefits for children.
It is versatile, and one can use it as an all-in-one unit or combined with other obstacle courses. This particular unit is for indoor use and is easy to move and position.
It has a four-rung ladder that challenges children to develop motor skills. After climbing, they reward themselves with a slide. The unit is for children ages 5 to 9 years old.
This seems like traditional play because it is. Playground play offers social and mental benefits. It offers emotional advantages as well. Thus, you see indoor play equipment like this in pediatric physical therapy centers.
Jump and Play Island
The Jump and Play Island is another physical therapy apparatus. It promotes the strengthening of essential gross motor skills.
The Play Island is for children with special needs who need to develop their gross motor skills. This includes children with sensory dysfunction. Physical therapists often recommend the Play Island for patients with neurodevelopmental issues.
The Jump and Play helps children burn their energy. At the same time, it strengthens vestibular, gross motor, and sensory skills. This indoor Play Island provides weight resistance.
It also provides early-intervention physical therapy for balance and spatial awareness.
The Play Island is a big piece equipment for pediatric physical therapy. It’s an inflated tube that is six feet wide. Up to four children can use it at a time. It is appropriate for children from toddlers to age 15.
Junior Semi-Recumbent Bike
The Kidsfit Junior Semi-Recumbent Bike is a small bike for strenuous aerobic exercise. Kidsfit designed the bike for children 10 to 15 years old and with a weight limit of 200 pounds.
The bike has a digital console with a computer and magnetic tension system. The computer measures the typical stats of any stationary bike. It reports Rotations per Minute (RPM) time, calories, distance, and child’s heart rate and pulse.
The bike encourages independent exercise. The child works towards a set target time and tracks his or her progress on the console. He or she progresses through levels of resistance as with any stationary bike.
Pediatric Physical Therapy in Your Area
These are just a few examples of the specialized equipment for pediatric physical therapy that might be used during a session. Children with special needs are no different than other children when it comes to having fun.
If you are looking for a pediatric physical therapy specialist in the Boulder area, please contact North Boulder Physical Therapy. We also have locations in Golden and Westminster.