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What is Pediatric Physical Therapy

Updated: Apr 23

Pediatric physical therapists (PT) treat newborns and young children. But just as a Pediatrician treats patients up to 18 years old, so do these PT’s. In a pediatric PT clinic, these young patients might need help with an injury or a delay in their development. Whichever it may be, these PT’s are here to help! In this specialty, physical therapists not only communicate with the children, but also the child’s family. This takes special interest and patience, as there may be many questions and/or concerns from the parents.


However, during these treatment sessions the PT tries to make it as fun as possible for their small patients. As we all know, children can have a very short attention span and often times are easily distracted. The physical therapist plans activities, interactive games, sing-alongs, and physical exercises of course. Although these games and exercises should be fun, they can be hard for those struggling with gross motor skills like walking or running. What may seem simple to other children may be one of the biggest challenges for these patients— something as effortless as grabbing objects or writing with a pencil can be a stumbling block. The goal is to maximize the functionality independence of these young patients, which is vital to their personal development. It is important that PT’s focus on the quality of the child’s motor skills to assure their movements are being executed safely and efficiently.


This is why the physical therapist strategically plans out the treatment that is backed up by clinical research and reasoning to help improve any dysfunction the child is being treated for. The exercises prescribed by this physical therapist can be different than that of an Orthopedic PT or a Neuro PT. Some of these exercises include rolling, crawling, jumping, and even sitting without assistance. All in all, these PT’s have the utmost patience and love for their valued patients, even if communication is tough at times. Depending on how long it’s been since you found us, you might remember the movement classes we did with children in homeless shelters this past summer via Zoom. Our student physical therapist (SPT) volunteers worked hard to put together imaginative adventures that implemented therapeutic exercise at the same time! This is a great example of how to make

exercise fun!



Sources:

https://azopt.net/pediatric-physical-therapy/

https://pediatricapta.org/consumer-patient-

information/pdfs/09%20ABCs%20of%20Ped%20PT.pdf

https://pathways.org/what-is-a-pediatric-physical-therapist/


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