Hydrotherapy Benefits for ADHD and Cerebral Palsy in Children

Hydrotherapy helps adults with chronic illnesses.  Did you know that hydrotherapy can help children, too? They also develop water confidence and safety.  Below are two childhood conditions in which hydrotherapy can benefit children.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
In recent studies, one out of every three children in the United States have ADHD.  That’s approximately 5.9 million children. Boys are also twice as likely of having the disorder over girls.  Children with ADHD show signs of some or all of the following characteristics: *Poor organization and memory skills *Language deficits *Poor motor skills *Difficulty in learning math, reading comprehension, listening, or oral skills. *Defiance *Hyperactivity *Easily loses temper Hydrotherapy, a natural remedy, uses heat and massage to relax children.  Consistent hydrotherapy has been known to help children with everyday tasks such as: *Give close attention to detail and avoid careless mistakes; *Sustain attention on tasks or play activities; *Listen when spoken to directly; *Follow through on instructions and finish school work or chores; *Organize tasks and activities; *Control excess talking; *Engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort; *Remember daily activities; *Control movement of hands or feet or control squirming; *Control constant activity; HydroChild With hydrotherapy, children have increased interaction, minimal distractions, and improve academically. An increase of self-confidence and self-esteem also show in these children.  Some reduced or eliminated medications, too.

Cerebral Palsy
There are 500,000 children and adults, worldwide, who have cerebral palsy.  In children, it’s the most common congenital disorder.  Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects movement, muscle tone, and coordination. It’s also caused by brain damage before or during one’s birth. It can occur within the first three to five years of life, too.  Those that have CP also have medical issues pertaining to vision, speech, hearing, and learning. CP is classified in three ways:
  1. spastic cerebral palsy — causes stiffness and movement difficulties
  2. athetoid cerebral palsy — leads to involuntary and uncontrolled movements
  3. ataxic cerebral palsy — causes a disturbed sense of balance and depth perception
Causes of CP are unknown.  Symptoms are found in early stages of life, and include: *Poor coordination *Poor or abnormal muscle tone CPButterfly *Delay in developmental milestones (not sitting up by 7 months of age or handling toys by 4 months, for example) *Lack of persistent reflexes With hydrotherapy, children with CP are able to move in water with ease.  The buoyancy of the water also reduces body weight by 90 percent, allowing the body to move without pressure.

Additional Information

Hydrotherapy works for everyone. However, certain measures are taken into consideration for children for a successful therapy session. Children require a lower water temperature. The safe water temp for hydrotherapy in children is 90 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, hydrotherapy times are different from adults due to size and age. Children are in the water for 10 minutes times their age. For example, a five year old will use hydrotherapy for 50 minutes for a successful session.

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There are three key factors in hydrotherapy, and they are heat, buoyancy, and massage. The heat of the water helps relax the child before therapy begins. The buoyancy of the water reduces body weight. This also allows less pressure on the body during movements and exercises. The massaging feature also creates a mixture of water and air through water jets. The water jets help relax muscles, massage the body, and allow ease of sensory processing in children. With all the benefits of hydrotherapy for these conditions in children, therapy is most easily done at home. At first thought, purchasing a hot tub could get pricey once you consider the cost, placement preparation, electrical installation, chemical purchases, and maintenance. There is one style of a hot tub that is easy to install, eco-friendly, and budget-friendly, too. It’s called Softub and with lower purchase cost, the least amount of maintenance in the industry and truly the most portability and comfort…it just can’t be beat!