Pediatric physical therapy is a health care profession that encompasses the evaluation and treatment of infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents. It is very important to discover and treat children’s problems in time. Research shows that early intervention works well with many pediatric diagnoses, including but not limited to ADHD/ADD, ataxia, autism, brachial plexus injuries such as Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, developmental coordination disorder, delays in development, Down syndrome, gait abnormalities, muscular dystrophy, neurological deficits, orthopedic conditions, plagiocephaly, preterm birth, scoliosis, sensory processing disorder, torticollis, toe walking, and traumatic brain injuries.

The entry-level title of physical therapists has changed over the years. It started with a bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s degree, and now it’s a doctorate in physical therapy. Now the little patients are treated by highly professional people with the highest degree possible.

Did you know that not all pediatricians specialize in child development? Only 15% of pediatricians are such specialists. Also, it’s easy to miss signs of developmental delays during routine visits. That’s when pediatric physical therapists can help.

The physical therapy evaluation usually begins with observation of the child’s appearance, movements, activities, and behaviors. You can then proceed to neurological and orthopedic examination, and continue testing with peer-reviewed assessment tools such as the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales – 2 (PDMS-2). The scores are then carefully calculated and conclusions are drawn as to whether the child requires physical therapy intervention.

To treat children, therapists may use stretching, strengthening, heat treatments, aquatic therapy, and joint mobilization. However, children often do not realize that they are in “therapy”. They engage in games and activities, so they have a lot of fun while exercising and working to improve their health.

Another important part of pediatric physical therapy is family education with home exercise programs. The family plays a crucial role in the speedy recovery and progress of therapy. To ensure remnant, the exercises should be practiced daily.

It is convenient for the pediatric physical therapist to come to children’s homes to provide care in the natural environment where children spend most of their time. Pediatric home physical therapy companies are happy to help their little patients. If you or someone you know has a child who could benefit from pediatric physical therapy, do your research and find a pediatric home physical therapy company serving your area.

In addition to observing and caring for children’s physical health, pediatric physical therapists always evaluate children for possible problems in other areas, such as speech pathology, occupational problems, as well as learning and behavioral delays. If necessary, they can refer their young patients to other child development specialists. This is how all aspects of child development are covered, and children can grow up happy and healthy.

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