Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Therapy


The aquatic therapy program at St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children uses the relieving, low-impact environment of water to help young patients achieve their health and rehabilitation goals. Pediatric aquatic therapy has proven to benefit children with musculoskeletal and neurological conditions as well as those recovering from major surgeries or traumatic injuries.


What is Aquatic Therapy?

Leveraging the physical properties of water, aqua 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 and young adults of St. Mary’s, water therapy sessions are a well-balanced mix of specialized treatment and wholesome fun. Patients work one-on-one with an aquatic physical therapist who is specially trained in techniques to maximize their functional independence.

Goals of Aquatic Therapy

  • Improve overall musculoskeletal function
  • Improve strength and endurance
  • Improve flexibility
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Assisting with gait and locomotion
  • Reducing stress/pain and promoting relaxation
  • Assist with improving sensory processing abilities

Program Approach

Therapists and other clinicians who are trained in Aquatic principles and basic life support will evaluate and determine appropriate plan of care for each child. An Aquatic session runs for 30 minutes ranging from 1 to 2 days per week for a total of 6 weeks. The Aquatic team will then re-assess to determine continued candidacy.

Who is a Candidate?

A child who meets the following criteria:

  • Has a diagnosis of Torticollis, Cerebral Palsy, Neurological deficit, Post-Surgical, Orthopedic, and/or Spinal Cord Injury/Acute Flaccid Myelitis.
  • Infancy through young adult.
  • Is deemed medically stable by the interdisciplinary team.

Who is not a Candidate?

A child who has the following:

  • Open wounds
  • Skin disorders/rashes
  • Tracheostomy/Vent
  • Central lines/PICC
  • Continuous Oxygen support

How Do I Get Started?

  • Fill out the form below, which will be sent directly to our team
  • You can also call Sonia Kaur, Project Coordinator at 718-281-8987
  • Within five business days, a member of our team will reach out to you to complete a phone screening

What is the Admissions Process?

Our admissions team will review the below in order to deem candidacy into the program:

    • All medical records
    • Insurance information
    • Current program capacity and wait-list

If My Child is Admitted, What Should I Expect?

  • An Aquatic evaluation is completed to determine candidacy
  • In order to best service our patient population, our Aquatic center is kept at optimal temperatures for therapeutic outcomes
  • A parent or guardian must remain poolside throughout each session

Contact Information

Simply complete the inquiry below and a St. Mary’s representative will contact you to review your medical records and provide more information on the program.

 St. Mary’s Aquatic Outpatient Program
Project coordinator:
Sonia Kaur: 718-281-8987

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