Introducing… Ocean Kids Health!
by Katie Cleary – Senior Paediatric Physiotherapists & Directors of Ocean Kids Health.
A big hello and welcome to our FIRST blog post for Ocean Kids Health! Super excited for you to be here and interested in what we do, thank you for reading!
In this blog, we’ll chat about Physio, Ocean Kids Health and share some exciting news on our new baby – Ocean Kids Health Academy!
Ocean Kids Health = Our brand new name for our entire business and services (Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, hydrotherapy, intensive therapy, community based therapy and our Academy) and more amazing supports to come in future!
At Ocean Kids Health, we often get asked by parents…..
Why do kids need to see a Physio, aren’t they for adults?
How can a Physio help my baby or child?
Interesting questions for us too!
Little kids aren’t playing high impact sports yet, so aren’t having many major injuries e.g. ACL tears that need rehab, or having chronic back or neck pain (like us adults) that needs management or having hip replacements, so why do they need to see a Physio?
Kids are physically SO different to adults (obviously) and we support them in developing or improving their abilities to move, play and learn! For our babies, we treat (help to improve) anything abnormal e.g. clicky hips, tight necks (torticollis) flat heads (plagiocephaly) motor delays (e.g. late to sit, crawl, walk). This is just scratching the surface of what we do! We also help babies and children with neurological conditions e.g. Cerebral palsy and genetic conditions e.g. downs syndrome learn how to move and build their strength! We also specialise in helping support children with connective tissue disorders e.g. Hypermobility syndromes and hEDS across home, school and in the community!
As kids get older, they may have difficulty playing, running, climbing, bike riding and doing all those things they want to do. Or, they may have sporting injuries, pain or difficulties moving. Think of us (Paediatric Physios) as like a detective that works out why kids are having difficulty moving – e.g. Is it strength related, a motor planning issue, due to underdeveloped sensory systems or from another underlying, undiagnosed condition?
Once we identify the underlying problem, we know how to solve or improve it, or refer on for further investigation when needed!
Pretty cool right? We think so. We’re lucky to do what we do, it’s amazing!
The Evolution of Ocean Kids
Ocean Kids Physiotherapy was established in 2015 as a little mobile service helping kids and adolescents at school, home and in the Victorian community. Over time with great passion and the help of our incredible team, we’ve evolved, developed specialised interest areas and expertise in key areas of therapy. We’ve also opened two large clinics and have extended our services to include; a now well stablished and amazing team of Exercise Physiologists (the largest in Victoria) will the help of our legendary Exercise Physiology Director and great friend, Ben Hall.
What is an Exercise Physiologist, we hear you ask?! (Don’t worry, we’ll cover that in detail a new blog soon so stay tuned!)
In light of our amazing allied health services, focusing on children’s health and well-being, this year we re-branded our business to Ocean Kids Health. We’re loving 2023 thus far, which has seen us expand our services to offer community visits to help your child at home, daycare, school or in the community! We’ve also extended our opening hours to allow for greater access to our services.
The development of our Academy…
During COVID, we remained open to support our families with babies and toddlers in our clinics. There were many of our key services closed from FTF appointments with Dr’s and MCHN’s so we helped to see these little babies presenting with a range of different issues from Plagiocephaly, Hip Dysplasia, motor delays and so much more! There was such a high demand for our Physiotherapy services and families were travelling from all over Victoria for their babies to be seen and wanting digital sessions from rural areas, so we put our thinking caps on….
How could we help more parents with babies at home than just our local community?
Des Frigenti (my incredible co-director and senior physiotherapist) had an amazing idea. Let’s make a digital learning series on ZOOM, Learn and Play!
Learn and Play consisted of 6 weekly 1 hour sessions over 6 weeks and was made available for all families who were expecting or had new babies. In these sessions, we sat down with families from all over Australia to provide education to support them at home, then to answer their key questions on their baby’s development to support them during what was such a tricky time for us all.
Our Learn & Play series was the first digital Physiotherapy learning series of it’s kind in Australia to support new parents. We ran the series 5 times over COVID and supported over 2000 families, which we were so happy to be able to help!
The feedback we had from families was that:
- They wanted to learn even more
- They wanted to re-watch our practical examples
- They wanted to download handouts and tips
- They wanted more practical videos to help them with more skills, with real babies
We also had many health professionals reach out to us, asking us to watch our Learn and Play series to help their clients in their local communities.
Then…….our next idea!
Ocean Kids Health Academy was born!
So what’s the Academy all about?
Academy = A place of study or training in a special field.
The founders of our Ocean Kids Heath Academy are:
Our Ocean Kids Health Academy is our new education branch of Ocean Kids Health, which encompasses:
- Digital Courses (parent and professional masterclasses) which you can find right here on our website!
- In person courses (for health professionals working with children)
- Education & Training supports including webinars
Over the past 12 months, we have been developing our Academy’s first Program – Learn & Play Masterclasses! We have developed these masterclasses for you (our wonderful parents of young babies) and allied health professionals wanting to upskill in key areas affecting baby development, to do all in the comfort of your own home!
Our masterclasses are online learning short courses, jam packed with accurate, useful, sleep saving tips and expert advice on the key areas we treat in our clinic. Each masterclass is loaded with practical video examples with real babies on ‘how to’ to help you with your baby at home e.g. how to do tummy time, how to swaddle your baby and how to play with your baby. Each masterclass takes between 60-90 mins to complete and you can take your time and re-visit when you need to practice the next skill with your baby!
Learn and Play Masterclass Topics:
- How to thrive at Home with your newborn
- Your Premature baby
- Tummy Time
- Infant Reflux
- Plagiocephaly (Babies with Flat heads)
- How to play with your baby
Are you a new mum, dad or carer? Or are you a health professional, looking for expert guidance and accurate advice?
We got you.
Thank you so much for reading about what we’ve been up to, we’re so happy to be able to share our Academy with you, we hope you love our masterclasses as much as we loved creating them to support you!