Hailey and I tried a new pool yesterday, we love it. We had previously been swimming at a pool that was convienant, but lacked some of the necessary things that would contribute to her much needed aquatherapy. The pool that we had been visiting regularly didn’t even have a proper place for me to be able to lie Hailey down and take her wet bathing suit off. I had to do this on the counter of a sink. This was not good for Hailey as well as the people who needed to use the sink. The showers didn’t work properly and the water temperature wasn’t kept warm enough in the summer months to be beneficial for Hailey’s stiff muscles. The last couple of times I noticed Hailey wasn’t moving around as much as she used to. The water temperature was just too cold causing her muscles to stiffen instead of relax. Warm water is the most beneficial to children with cerebral palsy because warm water relaxes stiff muscles. Cold water can have a freezing effect on muscle spasms, making the task of swimming difficult. You may ask why swimming is such a great therapy for Hailey, because the buoyancy of the water relieves stress normally placed on muscles by gravity. The water also gives her a grander range of motion and coordination, allowing her a chance to build muscles and improve coordination. The sensation of water on the body is good for neurological development.
I decided to look for a new pool to bring Hailey to, and I found it! This pool is handicap accessible, has large stalls where I can now have some privacy and a comfortable place to lie Hailey down and get her dressed, the showers work and the temperature is always 83 degrees. Though we don’t have to use this type of feature yet, they even have a lift to lower handicapped individuals down into the pool!
The rules of the pool are a bit more strict, we have to wear a bathing cap, I thought Hailey was going to flip, but she kept it on and with the cap fitting snug to her head, The only thing that I could see was her pretty little blue eyes bobbing around the pool in excitement!