Children can receive the same benefits from HBOT that adults do, and since it is a non-invasive procedure, it may actually be a preferable alternative in many cases.
Pediatric HBOT isn’t the most talked-about treatment option in the world, but that’s simply because children don’t suffer from the same things that many of us have to deal with in adulthood. In other words, children usually don’t have to deal with diabetic ulcers, bone infections, inadequate blood flow in the arteries, and other such conditions.
However, HBOT is regularly employed to treat various health conditions in children, from carbon monoxide poisoning to embolisms to wound healing.
Naturally, this should only be done on the recommendation of your primary healthcare provider, but we can consult with you on this decision.
Children Can Be Treated with HBOT, But Not All HBOT Facilities Treat Children
If your doctor recommends hyperbaric therapy for your child, you’ll see that it’s easy enough to find various facilities in your area that are set up to provide treatment.
However, not all of them are set up to provide treatment to young children. Either the staff are only trained to work with adults, or the facility was not designed to deal with kids and parents together. On the other hand, they simply may not have experience working with kids and aren’t sure how to deliver the most effective treatments.
As you look at all your options, make sure you determine whether or not the facility is ready to provide HBOT for children.
Is There a Minimum Age Requirement?
If the facility offers pediatric HBOT, there usually isn’t a hard and fast age requirement. There is, however, a sitting/laying still requirement. Your child will need to sit calmly in the chamber for the duration of the treatment, which can be up to an hour or more. If they can manage that, they can probably safely receive HBOT treatments.
Preparing Your Child for HBOT Chamber Treatment
It can be scary for many children to climb into a space-age-looking chamber and be alone inside it for an extended period of time. Feelings of loneliness and claustrophobia and confusion (and even boredom) can start to bubble up and make the experience more difficult for them.
There are many things you can do to prepare your child for the treatment and make sure they’re ready – and maybe even excited – to slide into the chamber on their own.
Usually, the most important thing is to let them know that you’ll be right there beside the chamber the entire time. We’ll help with this and make sure they understand that our professional staff is also there and ready to help take care of them if they start to feel too anxious.
Some other things you can do to prepare them for their treatments include letting them know that there will be entertainment systems available so they can watch their favorite shows, and a communication system so they can talk to anyone outside the chamber if they have any questions or concerns.
It’s also a good idea to make sure they eat a couple hours before going to the session. They shouldn’t be too full, but we also don’t want them to feel like they’re starving inside the chamber. Liquids are a different story, though. It can take up to fifteen minutes to depressurize a chamber, so if there are any emergencies in the chamber… well, it could be real emergency. To put it more directly, there won’t be any potty breaks during the session, so if liquids tend to fly through your child, you may want to go light on them on the day of the treatment.
Always Get More Information
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is still considered an “alternative treatment” by many people, so we understand if you have questions about pediatric HBOT. Our staff is here to answer all your questions and help you make informed decisions about your child’s health. Contact us today to learn more.