Health Plus: Adaptive playground for kids with disabilities - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Adaptive playground for kids with disabilities


Children love to play.

But kids with developmental challenges can't always use traditional playgrounds.

That's where adaptive equipment comes in.

Here's Health Plus to show you some:

Like any kid, the rush of swinging is something Christopher enjoys.

But the Waterloo 6-year-old was not able to experience it until he used a swing designed specifically for children with physical challenges like his cerebral palsy.

"Like six years he's been coming here. They've helped him tremendously with him walking. They got him into a walker for assistance because he could do it as long as he had something to hang onto and gave him support," said Shannon Schmidt, his mother.

It's part of Covenant Medical Center's adaptive playground.

The hospital's Early Developmental Intervention program uses it for patient rehabilitation.

 "I think it makes a big difference because we're giving kids an opportunity to play that wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity. So you know like Christopher comes and he needs assistance getting up and down. He needs an adaptive swing so he can sit and utilize it appropriately and safely. So it's a good motivator," said Thea kurtz, Covenant EDI therapist.

In addition to its modified swing, the playground has a rubber surface.

It's a great option for occupational therapy.

"It's hard to have kids come and just exercise if they need to so giving them, you know, 'we're going up the stairs 'cause then we get to go down the slide,' is a huge motivator and benefit," said Kurtz.

For parents like Christopher's mom, their children's joy is mirrored by their own.

"It's awesome that he's able to do things already that he couldn't ever do before with his classmates," said his mom.

Covenant's adaptive playground has been around a few years, but its swing is a newer addition.

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