St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, New York’s City’s only post-acute care facility for children with special needs, has launched a new state-of-the-art Aquatic Therapy Program. This new program uses the relieving, low-impact environment of water to help young patients achieve their health and rehabilitation goals. Aquatic therapy has proven to benefit children with musculoskeletal and neurological conditions as well as children recovering from major surgeries or traumatic injuries.
St. Mary’s cares for a unique population of children who are challenged by a range of medically complex conditions, including chronic illness, traumatic injury, and complications of premature birth. Leveraging the physical properties of water, aquatic therapy provides a primarily non-weight-bearing activity, enabling children with varying levels of mobility to move more freely. Water therapy can help patients improve muscle tone, elevate endurance and cardiovascular efficiency, and increase circulation, balance, and coordination.
For the children of St. Mary’s, water therapy sessions are a well-balanced mix of specialized treatment and wholesome fun. “St. Mary’s aquatic therapists help children with an array of special needs, including cerebral palsy, abnormal muscle tone, coordination difficulties, and sensory processing disorders,” said Robert D’Elia, Director of Rehabilitation at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. “Children work one-on-one with an aquatic therapist who is specially trained in these therapy techniques to maximize their functional independence.”
First-rate Aquatic Therapy Pool
D’Elia also noted that the custom-designed pool is fully accessible with an in-ceiling lift that accommodates the needs of even the most disabled child. The pool’s temperature controls ensure an optimal environment for the young swimmers, as the warmth of the water has proven to aid in relaxing spastic muscles. And, the versatile endless pool works by creating a current in the water that can be adjusted to match any fitness level, so it can be set to gentler currents for younger children.
“Our goal is to have Aquatic Therapy incorporated into our standard of care at the hospital; it will be available for any child who could benefit. These sessions are enjoyable for our kids and they are motivated by this fun environment to work even harder in the pool to reach their rehabilitation milestones.”
Special thanks to the RGL Group LLC
Funding for the Aquatic Therapy Center at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children was generously provided by the RGL Group. “The RGL Group is very proud to support the exceptional work of St. Mary’s.” said Manny Galanis, Chief Financial Officer of the RGL Group. “The executive team and staff remains committed to helping St. Mary’s Kids because we believe that every child deserves top-quality compassionate healthcare. Children can benefit from aquatic therapy in a variety of ways and we are pleased that the new aquatic therapy pool will provide these young patients with a fun and relaxing rehabilitative environment.”