Why is Physical Therapy Important for Preschool-Age Children?
For children who exhibit at least a 25% delay in gross motor skills, physical therapy is an important adjunct to their development. Within the Early Childhood Services (ECS) Department of the BCIU, pediatric physical therapists promote balance, strength, endurance, and mobility as it relates to the child’s performance within the educational setting. The ultimate goal is for children to have better ability and maximal independence to perform certain functional tasks such as sitting, walking, jumping, or climbing so that they may maximally participate among peers and best interact with their environment. Physical therapists (PTs) often help children with physical, developmental, neurological, musculoskeletal, or cardiopulmonary impairments that result in movement dysfunction and, of course, functional limitations.
PTs typically encourage children to advance their gross motor milestones through active play and positioning. Examples of interventions performed by the BCIU ECS PT team include: developmental movements designed to facilitate progress of motor milestones with optimal movement patterns, passive or active exercises to increase mobility, active or resistive activities to increase muscle strength, training in functional skills such as walking or crawling, recommendation and application or orthotics to promote structure and stability, and recommendations and training for use of assistive devices (such as walkers). As young children often learn best through movement, pediatric physical therapy is an important adjunct for the development of children with delays.
Last Modified on March 29, 2010