Children's physiotherapy

Physiotherapists work with children and young people to reduce the effects of physical impairment or injury and to help them achieve as much as they can physically.

How can physiotherapy help children?

Physiotherapists work with children who have different physical needs which make movement difficult in some way. The aim is to encourage each child to be able to move as much and as well as they can, and to ensure that children do not grow up with deformities that could be avoided. Our physiotherapists work with children and their families and schools to help resolve these difficulties or to help a child learn good strategies to manage their difficulties and be as independent as possible.

What sort of children and young people do we deal with?

We work with children and young people up to the age of 16 for musculoskeletal problems, and up to 18 for those with complex health needs. Children must be registered with a Sutton GP.

We are able to help children who have:

  • Gross motor development delay (not walking, problems with running, jumping)
  • Neurological impairment (e.g. cerebral palsy) or a physical disability affecting movement
  • Difficulties with balance and coordination
  • Musculoskeletal problems (injuries, strains, sprains)

We also work with children and young people who have complex health needs and require specialist equipment such as sleep systems, standing frames, and walkers to help children achieve as much as they can with their bodies despite their disability, and to be more comfortable.

The physiotherapist is trained to recognise when a child has difficulties and to find out why, and what will help. Therapy works best when those who spend most time with the child put the physiotherapist's ideas and suggestions into practice on a regular basis.

What can I expect from the service?   

  • The physiotherapist will see your child and will carry out a physical assessment of muscle tone, range of movement, muscle strength, coordination, posture, balance and motor skills
  • They will discuss with you and your child your concerns and will agree an appropriate treatment plan
  • The therapist will give you a home exercise programme to be done regularly. There may also be some pieces of useful equipment you could use with your child. A programme may also be sent to school to be carried out there
  • We may offer your child a course of group therapy with other children, or some individual sessions.

Where will my child receive this service?   

Children are usually invited to a local Health Clinic for their first physiotherapy appointment. We offer appointments at:

Green Wrythe Lane Clinic, Carshalton

Subsequent appointments may be offered in the same clinic, or in school, nursery, or children's centres, or for children with very complex health needs, at home.

What does the service expect from me?   

It is important that you carry out the exercise programme we give you and use any specialist equipment we recommend in the way we advise. We will support you to do this.

We ask you to attend all appointments where possible, and if you are unable to attend, to contact the department giving as much notice as possible. If you do not attend and do not contact us, your child will be discharged from the service.

Is there a cost for this service?  

No

How can my child be referred to this service? 

If you are concerned about your child's development, please discuss this with your health visitor, or your GP. They can then refer into our service.

Age range

0 to 16 years (musculoskeletal service)
0 to 18 years (community service)

Team members

Physiotherapists

Is patient self-referral available?

No

Is transport provided?

No

Are home visits available?

Yes