Your child's first pediatric physical therapy session may be daunting. But there are several things you can do as a parent to help your child feel comfortable and prepared. Here are a few tips.
Talk to Your Child About What to Expect
Pediatric physical therapy sessions can involve a lot of new and unfamiliar activities. But if you take the time to talk to your child about what to expect, they'll feel more comfortable and prepared.
Explain the basics of pediatric physical therapy and what will happen during the session. Use simple terms and age-appropriate language. For instance, suppose your child is seeing a pediatric physical therapist for help with gross motor skills. You might say something like, "The therapist will help you exercise your big muscles so you can run and jump better."
Also, you can show your child pictures of pediatric physical therapists and therapy equipment. This will help them understand what to expect and feel more comfortable with the therapist and the environment.
Finally, it's helpful to role-play with your child. You can pretend to be the therapist and have your child be the patient. This will help them feel more comfortable and confident when it's time for their real pediatric physical therapy session.
Encourage Your Child to Ask Questions
Just as you would with any new experience, it's important to encourage your child to ask questions about their pediatric physical therapy session. You could have them write down their questions beforehand, so they don't forget to ask them during the session.
Answering your child's questions will help them understand what to expect and feel more comfortable about the whole process. It will also show them that you're supportive of their pediatric physical therapy and that you're there to help them through it.
And if you don't know the answer to a question, that's okay. You can tell your child you'll find out and get back to them. Doing so will assure them that their questions are important and that you're committed to helping them through their pediatric physical therapy session.
Prepare Your Child for Physical Activities
Many pediatric physical therapy sessions involve physical activities. So it's important to dress your child in comfortable clothes so that they can move around easily. Avoid clothes with buttons, zippers, or other fasteners that might get in the way.
Also, it's a good idea to have your child eat a light meal before their pediatric physical therapy session. You could also pack a water bottle and some snacks for your child. This will help them stay hydrated and energized throughout the session.
And since pediatric physical therapy sessions can be strenuous, it's important to make sure your child gets a good night's sleep before their session. This will help them be alert and ready to participate in the session.
Reach out to a service like Dominion Physical Therapy to find out more.