Our Physical Therapy team explains why it is important for your child to follow through with exercise programs at home.

 

8 Reasons Why Following Through with Your Child’s Home Exercise Program (HEP) is the Best Thing You Can Do for Them

When your child is undergoing physical therapy, the journey extends beyond the clinic. As a parent or caregiver, you play a crucial role in ensuring the effectiveness of their treatment through consistent follow-through with Home Exercise Programs (HEPs). Here’s why promoting consistency to these prescribed exercises at home is essential for your child’s progress and overall well-being.

  1. Reinforcing Skills Learned in PT

Physical therapy sessions typically occur a few times a week, therefore the benefits can be limited if the exercises are not reinforced at home. HEPs are designed to keep the progress from therapy going, helping your child practice and solidify the skills they pick up during their sessions. This reinforcement can be crucial for motor learning and functional improvements.

  1. Maximizing Therapy Benefits

Consistency is key, especially in physical therapy. Regular practice of your child’s prescribed exercises can help build strength, improve coordination, and enhance mobility. Incorporating their HEP into their daily routine can help maximize the therapeutic benefits and possibly accelerate their progress.

  1. Preventing Regression

Just like any other skill, physical abilities can regress if not continually practiced. HEPs help maintain and build upon your child’s gained achievements in PT. This can help prevent setbacks and keep them moving forward.

  1. Encouraging Independence and Confidence

HEPs can empower your child by promoting independence. As they practice and master new exercises, their confidence grows. Their confidence is crucial for their overall motivation and willingness to engage in therapy, both at home and in the clinic.

  1. Family Involvement

HEPs can serve as the perfect opportunity or starting point to being more involved in your child’s therapy! Participating in their exercises can demonstrate support and encouragement. Having their family engage with their therapy can help boost a more positive, and pleasant relationship and attitude towards therapy, while also helping you better understand their needs and challenges.

  1. Catering to Your Child’s Needs

HEPs are tailored to address specific therapeutic goals your child needs. When you consistently practice these exercises at home, you can observe your child’s progress and begin to identify any difficulties they might encounter. Sharing these observations with your child’s therapist can allow for adjustments to be made, ensuring the program remains effective and relevant to their needs.

  1. Enhancing Overall Quality of Life

The whole point of physical therapy is to improve your child’s functional abilities and make everyday tasks easier and more manageable for them! Regularly performing HEPs can lead to improvement in their quality of life, by enabling them to participate more in school, social outings, and other daily activities.

  1. Building Long-Term Healthy Habits

Establishing a routine with HEPs can introduce the importance of physical activity and self-care to your child at an early age. These healthy habits can later extend into their adulthood and build a positive, familiar, and proactive approach to fitness!

Conclusion

Following through with HEPs is vital for a child’s progress in physical therapy. Parent’s involvement and commitment can make a significant difference in their child’s recovery and development. Integrating HEPs into both theirs, and their child’s daily routine can help support their therapeutic goals, while contributing to their overall well-being. It is important for parents to embrace this role with a positive outlook, to help their child create a routine, and goals for themselves all while making it fun, and something to look forward to!

 

References

Children’s Museum Team. (2021, August 3). The Importance of Physical Activity for Kids. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. https://www.cmosc.org/the-importance-of-physical-activity-for-kids/

 

‌Sherrell, Z. (2023, July 12). Physical activity in children: Benefits, activities to try, and tips. Www.medicalnewstoday.com. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/exercise-and-children#benefits

Why Your Physical Therapy Home Exercise Program (HEP) is Important. (2021, October 29). Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy. https://foothillsrehab.com/blog/why-your-physical-therapy-home-exercise-program-hep-is-important/

 

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