Wednesday, October 30, 2013

5 Ways to Encourage Your Child through Physical Therapy

If your child has an injury from athletics or an accident, physical therapy or rehabilitation is often a necessary component of recovery. Each child responds to rehabilitation differently, making it critical to create unique recovery strategies for all individuals. It is imperative that both the family and caregiver remain supportive to complete the exercises safely, whether at the doctor's facility or at home.

1. Be Selective

Rehabilitation often takes weeks or months. You want a practitioner that specializes in physical therapy for children to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Visit several different facilities before choosing a caregiver. Look around the waiting room and ask to see the therapy room. Each space should be child-friendly, including whimsical decorations or colorful wall paint. Books and toys need to be a focal point in the waiting room to keep children's minds occupied until their rehabilitation appointment. Avoid offices that are industrial and cold. Your child may not respond or recuperate well in these facilities.

2. Collective Fun

With everyone staring, children may be shy or scared to perform the necessary rehabilitation techniques. Make recovery a group project with friends and family joining in on the exercises. This distraction technique takes pressure off of the child and engages a sense of comfort with the situation. If this strategy works, continue to participate at each session to complete the therapy with flying colors.

3. Welcome All Questions

Even the youngest children have questions about their exercises and pediatric braces. Your practitioner should welcome all questions from adults and children. By answering children's questions with honesty, kids feel more comfortable with the situation. They may be more inclined to push through an exercise that may hurt when they know it will help them later. Ignoring questions makes children uneasy and distrustful to perform any exercises.

4. Session Rewards

The main goal for the entire rehabilitation program is to recover fully and lead a normal life. This abstract idea is too large for most children to grasp. You must create small goals with a reward at the end of every session. For sessions that are not too strenuous, a lollipop or other candy will suffice. Particularly painful sessions should be met with a larger reward, such as a small stuffed animal. As each session passes, they earn more rewards as their body heals.

5. Home Exercises

Some rehabilitation programs require extra exercises at home. Although they are normally simple, it may be painful for your child. Create a star chart to encourage these exercises each day. Draw a box for every day your child must exercise. When the exercise is completed, your child picks a sticker and affixes it to the chart. They must collect enough stars, or daily exercises, to earn a major prize, such as a dinner at a favorite restaurant.

Injury rehabilitation may be difficult for children to understand, but creative thinking encourages them to complete the program for other reasons. Treats and small prizes are smart distractions from recovery pain. Think of your child's favorite toys and foods to create a reward system that works for your family.

MMAR Medical Group Inc. has a wide selection of children’s physical therapy products and pediatric braces.

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