Newborns and babies might have to deal with difficulties when moving since almost every type of movement is new or very recent to them. After a couple of months they learn how to crawl, walk and engage in other physical activities, but it takes another period of time to move naturally and in a coordinated manner.
There are children whose health condition restrict them from moving properly. Physical impairments do not allow some parts of the body to develop properly, and if developed correctly, then they might result injured.
Physical Impairment Defined and Types
A physical impairment is any condition that hinders mobility either partially or completely.
A physical mobility issue might be the result of numerous incidents and conditions, such as harm to the central nervous system, hereditary diseases, and disorders presented at the moment of conception. Although there are numerous impairments that might affect a kid, here we will present the main ones:
- Spina Bifida: This is a defect that presents itself once your child has been born. It occurs when the spinal column does not grow properly in the womb. The severity of this condition can vary according to how affected the spinal column is. Since it affects a body part highly related to movement, a kid may experience a level of paraplegia as well as some sort of incontinence issues. A spina bifida can also lead to the spinal column developing in a C or S shape, brain swelling due to fluids building into the skull and bone malformation.
- Muscular Dystrophies: This hereditary disease causes a gradual weakness in the muscle mass and can be classified into different conditions.
- Cerebral Palsy: This is a disorder which develops as a consequence of harm induced in the brain area. Usually this arises on the womb, but it can also begin during the first stages of childhood. Those who suffer from this condition might have to deal with issues related to their capacity to move their body freely, their ability to participate actively in a conversation, their position while standing or sitting, their ability to distribute weight throughout their body, and other issues related to the neuromuscular system such as sudden uncontrollable muscle contractions.
- Besides the conditions above, a child might also have to deal with physical impairments if he or she experienced some accident that caused critical damage to the extremities or the central nervous system.
When your child is suffering from mobility issues, he or she will have to go through a number of professionals and therapies to enhance his/her life. You will probably have to take your kid to physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, as well as other kinds of health practitioners. Also, there is chance your child might need to use mobility aids and appliances for adequate support.
Physical therapy is helpful not only for children, but also for the people surrounding them. Benefits of this include:
- The capacity to talk and demonstrate the school personnel the due treatment of the child
- The ability to enhance the kid’s autonomy using only their physical force or with the help of mobility aids
- The ability to show the parents how to appropriately move their child without causing further harm
Occupational therapy is helpful for avoiding a sedentary life since this therapy focuses on supporting the patient carry out day-to-day activities. While speech and language therapy is particularly useful when your child is unable to communicate properly.
There are also mobility aids as well as appliances to support your child’s daily activities. A health practitioner should be able to inform you about the tools ideal for your kid. Among other things, appliances can help your kid when taking a bath, going to the bathroom and establishing discussions with others.
First of all, if you are aware that physical impairments run in you family you should act as soon as possible. Make sure to consult a specialized doctor on your family traits in order to be able to determine if your kid is at risk of suffering a physical condition. If you don’t have any children but you can foresee forming a family in the future, you should talk to a doctor specialized in genetics if there have been instances of physical disability in your family, the doctor should be able to inform you about your particular case.
In addition, there are actions you should always do to protect your child from potential accidents. Make sure your kid always has his/her seatbelt on or is sitting at the booster seat with all the appropriate devices on. When your child is developing in the uterus and while breastfeeding try to maintain an appropriate nutrition, meals rich in vitamin B9 help the body fight against conditions such as spina bifida.
If your kid already suffers from a physical impairment, there are actions you can undertake to make life easier for him or her on school. First, you should let the school know as early as you can about your child’s condition. This is so they can make the necessary changes to the facility to make it easier for the child to navigate. In addition, you should inform the school personnel about your child’s specific requirements so they can provide the due care and the right approach to facilitate his/her education.