Written by; Kine Huseby Michelsen, Physical Therapist.

Pool exercises and activities in water for children and adolescents with special needs, has proven to give great benefits. In this article we will share our experiences with different children, who all have had great pleasure of the Krabat Pirat floating aid.

Pool activities for children and adolescents with physical disabilities.

There are several reasons as to why activities in water are beneficial for children and adolescents with special needs. Both the updrift in the water and the “water resistance” provide a great opportunity to exercise muscles strength, endurance and improved function. In a hydrotherapy pool the heated water will have a relaxing effect with also helps to reduce spasticity.

Both children and adults with physical disabilities often requires assistance to stay afloat in water, and there are different aids available. The Krabat Pirat is a popular floating aid which can be used of children and adults alike. The chest boars can be adjusted to cover all angels from horizontally in water to an upright standing position. Hence it can also be used as gait training in water. A head support can be fitted for users with little or no head control.

The Krabat Pirat gives the user independence in water. The carer/parent/therapist has two hands available to stimulate movements, instead of supporting the user in the water. The Krabat is easy to use, very lightweight and can be used in both pool water and the sea. Many families bring this floating aid along on their holidays.

Why use the Krabat Pirat?

  • Gentle training of muscle strength, endurance and a chance to improve function
  • Relaxing, and helps to reduce spasm, in heated water
  • Independence in water
  • Fun

Our experiences with Krabat Pirat

Maria Strøm is a Physical Therapist & ATRI Cert Phys Therapist who works in a rehabilitation center in Sweden. She has several hydrotherapy sessions weekly with different children and adolescents, and with a wide range of diagnoses. We are thankful for her feedback.

«Outstanding floating aid for people with poor head control and reduced trunk stability”

  • In water we have an excellent opportunity to isolate movement and work on specific muscles groups. The Krabat Pirat helps us to support the user whilst focus on the exercises.
  • Hypotony and hypermobile joints is the main problem for a young man who’s struggling with head control. In the water the Pirat supports his body and allows him to lift and control the head. This is not possible on dry land. It is amazing to see the joy and confidence this gives to the young man. To manage, on his own.
  • A little child with lots of unvoluntary movements has a great desire to be independent in the water. She is hard to handle in the pool, but on the Krabat Pirat she is quite safe without us holding her.
  • Eye contact is very important with one child as his seizures is strong and sudden. It feels very safe to handle him on the Krabat Pirat.
  • The Krabat Pirat can also be used in an upright standing position in the pool, which is a natural and functional position. For example, for gait training.
  • It can also be used by people with a wide range of disabilities. Users with spasticity, heart failure, blindness, epilepsy, etc. can all be safe on the Krabat Pirat. The feeling of walking, swimming, or moving on their own is priceless. “There are plenty of benefits with this aid. Imagine to interact and participate in play with the other children in the pool”.
  • This floating aid improves the quality of life. Not only for the user but for carer, parent or therapist. As a Physical Therapist this aid gives me two hands available to stimulate movement and give other treatment.

Maria Strøm – Physical Therapist & ATRI Cert Phys Ther