The demand for The Royal Children Hospital’s world leading physiotherapy services increases every year and The Royal Children’s Hospital pool is the centrepiece of the Aquatic Physiotherapy program.
Since its opening in 2013 the pool has become a vital part of RCH physiotherapy. By helping children achieve what they can’t do on land, the program is a fun and effective way to provide great care to infants, children and adolescents.
The Royal Children’s Hospital pool is specifically heated to a warmer-than-usual 34 degrees Celsius, which aids recovery through relaxation of muscles, reduction of muscle spasm, increased circulation and pain relief. It can also facilitate the treatment of children with a limited ability to regulate their own body temperature.
Aquatic Physiotherapy uses the buoyancy of water to assist treatment. Water acts by assisting and resisting movement which helps increase muscle strength and joint movement. This form of therapy is great for children with everything from sports injuries to chronic conditions like Cerebral Palsy, as it allows them to complete exercises and participate in activities which they aren’t able to do on land.
When designing a pool for clinical use, the health and safety of patients is of the utmost importance. “Unlike many adult hydrotherapy pools, our purpose built facility includes shallow water, a ramp and specific equipment to enable training of running, walking or crawling in young children and infants,” says Emily Ramage, Senior Physiotherapist.
“Seeing a child’s face light up as they master a new skill or regain the ability to walk, hop or run in the pool is a special moment”.
“But even more rewarding is seeing these therapy gains translate to the child’s everyday abilities at home, in the playground and beyond.”
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