The important thing to remember when assessing a very young child is that they probably don't want to be there (especially if they're in hospital). In fact, most adults don't want to be there either but at least they're able to recognise that it's probably in their best interests to attend. A child attends because somebody made them.
Play is going to be an important aspect of your assessment (as well as your treatment). If you can distract them with balls, trampolines, toys and wedges you'll get a lot further than with instructions, commands and regimes. Children want to climb up onto things. They want to throw balls and hang from beams. If you can make their trip to you a little more fun and a little less scary, you'll end up not only getting a better response to your treatment, but you may find yourself enjoying your job!
(Keywords)Throwing, kicking, rolling, sitting, bouncing. Postural control, strengthening, co-ordination.
(Keywords)Wedges are good for stretching muscles, placing limbs into normal positions and props for climbing over, under and around.
There is some controversy over the use of mini-trompolines (Rebound therapy) in rehabilitation programmes for children. Research in the US, UK and New Zealand has shown that the number of A&E admissions after trompoline-related injury is staggeringly high. Most conclude with a statement calling for a complete ban on the sale of recreational trampolines. However, they also found that most injuries came about as a result of unsupervised activity, which hopefully would never occur in a physio gym. The use of trampolines has (perhaps surprisingly) been shown to be effective in assisting with sputum clearance, among other, more well-documented effects.
(Keywords)Rolling, tumbling, falling safely, clean.