Monitoring the Safety of the Fitness Program
Whether the therapist is going to work directly with the child or recommend a fitness program to another professional (i.e., physical education instructor), it is important to establish safety guidelines for exercise. Most children with physical and intellectual disabilities should not have difficulty participating in high intensity sports and fitness activities unless there is evidence of a cardiac or pulmonary disorder. In this case, the child should be screened by a physician and a specific fitness program may have to be conducted in a clinical setting with the appropriate supervision. Nevertheless, it is always wise to start off slowly and follow certain procedures to assure maximum safety. General guidelines for a safe fitness program are listed in Table 3.
|Table 3. General Safety Guidelines for Conducting Fitness Activities for Children with Disabilities.|