Paediatrics is a branch of medicine that deals with the development and health of children. Paediatrics is a highly specialised area of physiotherapy and one that is challenging as well as rewarding.
Paediatric physiotherapists can work with children in private clinical settings, in hospitals, in schools and some physiotherapists also perform home visits. The treatment of newborn infants, children and adolescents all come under the scope of paediatrics.
Physiotherapists can help children who have physical developmental delays stemming from neurological conditions. A child may be referred to physiotherapy if he has developmental delays that prevent him from achieving the milestones that are generally expected at a particular age. Children born with conditions such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, muscular dystrophy and a variety of other genetic conditions will benefit from physiotherapy which may include fine and gross motor skill retraining and rehabilitation, exercise programmes for muscular strength and endurance, stretching programmes to increase flexibility and improve posture and perhaps the use of orthoses and splints.
Children diagnosed with cystic fibrosis may require daily chest physiotherapy. Paediatric physiotherapists can monitor the child’s health and progress and design a chest physiotherapy exercise programme for the child and caregivers to perform at home.
Other cases addressed in paediatrics are injuries such as fractures and sports injuries, traumatic brain injuries (perhaps as the result of an accident or fall) and cases where there is a decline in a child’s physical function due to illness. With all of these children, the primary goal of physiotherapy is for them to get as close to their prior level of functioning as is possible.
Paediatric physiotherapists aim to make all sessions fun so the children look forward to coming to physiotherapy. If you have a child who would benefit from our services, please give us a call.