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Fun is the name of the game! Learn about the benefits of Aquatic Therapy for your child.

May 13, 2015

One of the things I love about being an occupational therapist is using unique tools to help a child reach their full potential. One of those tools that may be a bit unexpected is a swimming pool. The properties of water offer unique benefits, are familiar to children and inherently add the unquestionable element of fun. As therapists we know that when a child is having fun, they will try harder and risk failure to reach their goals. When we treat your child, our pursuit is to build on their strengths and challenge their weaknesses while engaging them in motivating ways. Fun is the ultimate motivator! Children who have faced physical disabilities, learning difficulties or traumatic injury certainly know how fun can turn a daunting challenge into an achievable one.

In light of this, aquatic therapy is an excellent supplement to traditional clinic, school or home-based therapy, using safe and research-based tasks to achieve your child’s individualized short-term goals. It can benefit children with a variety of physical, sensory, developmental or neurological issues. During an aquatic therapy session, rather than teaching your child how to swim, the therapist is using the properties of water to facilitate a variety of skills that will increase your child’s success in these areas:

  • Functional mobility
  • Posture
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Sensory processing
  • Body awareness for motor coordination
  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Range of motion
  • Relaxation and decreased pain
Kids already know that swimming is fun, but here’s what they don’t know:
  • The buoyancy of water is ideal for increasing movement while avoiding stress on the joints
  • Water provides natural resistance that builds strength
  • Water provides fluid, even pressure across the body (hydrostatic pressure) which has a calming effect
  • Warm water aids in relaxing tight or spastic muscles
It is a magical moment when a child challenges himself to push beyond his limits to succeed in a new way. Aquatics just may be the experience to make that happen. Arnold Palmer Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation offers Aquatic Therapy every Tuesday and Thursday morning. If you think your child may benefit from Aquatic Therapy, talk to your child’s doctor. Please obtain a prescription from your doctor for an Occupational or Physical Therapy evaluation if you’re interested in participating.

We’ll see you in the pool!

Learn more about our aquatic therapy program at Arnold Palmer Hospital, here.