by Natalie Frei, PT, DPT, Children’s Therapy, Valley Medical Center
Childhood obesity has increased significantly (two to threefold, depending on the age group) in the past few decades in the United States. Nationally, 18.5% of children are currently obese with 13.7 million children and adolescents ages 2-19 affected. Washington state youth obesity rates (grades 8 – 12) are a bit less at 14%, but combined with those children who are overweight, 29% are overweight or obese. While the Centers for Disease Control recommendation for youth physical activity is 60 minutes or more each day, King County youth were less likely than state youth to meet this recommendation—84% of 12th grade students did not meet this activity recommendation, compared to 79% statewide.
Valley Medical Center Children’s Therapy can provide outpatient physical therapy services to children with a diagnosis of obesity
As physical therapists who specialize in the treatment of children, we have a variety of play activities and youth-based equipment/toys that we use to make PT fun! Pediatric physical therapists work toward having the family and child adopt fitness as an important activity and carry the fitness program forward. Once the physical therapy goals have been achieved, physical therapists refer patients to other health practitioners (e.g., community fitness staff) for health promotion and long-term fitness and wellness programs.
A discussion with your child’s primary care physician and/or dietician/nutritionist can help you decide if physical therapy services can complement your child’s obesity treatment plan.
For more information about physical therapy in the treatment of obesity at Valley’s Children’s Therapy, visit valleymed.org/childrenstherapy or call 425.690.3513.