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Our pediatric physiotherapists have specific knowledge about the physical development, motor skills, posture and fitness of children during and after the disease process. A physiotherapist will practice certain movements with your child, encouraging him/her to be active and to maintain his/her condition or to build it up (muscles, heart and lung function).

The pediatric physiotherapist will review all of your child's possibilities (diagnostics). What is your child capable or incapable of? How does your child move? And why does your child move like this? Next, the pediatric physiotherapist will create a plan to ensure that your child remains in motion as much as possible and can join in with his/her peers (treatment). This professional also knows when to refer your child to another healthcare provider, such as a speech therapist or an occupational therapist.

When do we request the services of a pediatric physiotherapist?

A doctor will request a physiotherapist if your child:

  • has decreased muscle strength and/or fitness due to lying in bed for long periods
  • has difficulty moving due to medication, such as vincristine and dexamethasone, or has a tumor in a bone, muscle or joint
  • is isolated during the hospital stay and, therefore, has fewer movement options
  • is afraid to move because of (bone) pain
  • is lagging in his/her development

The treatment depends on the age of your child. Young children mainly exercise or train through play, older ones can also participate in fitness training. 

Preparation and treatment

The attending physician has referred your child for an examination on the Pediatric Physiotherapy department. In preparation for this examination, it is important that you consider which questions you or your child have about movement and/or physical development. The pediatric physiotherapist will ask you if you have any questions. It is also crucial that your child wears comfortable clothing that moves well. The examination often requires children to undress down to their shirt and underpants.

Different examinations will be performed depending on your questions and the request of the attending physician. The purpose of the examinations is to look for possible causes of limited or changed movement and/or physical and motor development. For example, the physiotherapist may look at why your child is having difficulty moving or has started walking differently. When this is the case, the physiotherapist can figure out the reason for the movement change (e.g. which type of chemotherapy was administered). A plan will be developed to help your child with any movement issues. 

Sometimes, maximum exercise tests are performed to provide us with information about your child's condition and how his/her lungs, heart, and muscles perform during physical exertion. Based on the results of this examination, we can provide you with effective advice on how to improve your child's condition and which sports activities are viable. It is important to note that maximum exercise tests can result in fatigue, which subsequently reveals physical limitations. Your child may experience fatigue and muscle pain at the conclusion of the test. If these complaints last longer than three days, you can always contact our department.