There’s a new business in Texas that’s turning heads internationally. Float Baby is a spa designed for infants, but more than just a place to pamper little ones with massage and relaxation, it may be the first step towards a new treatment method for infant torticollis.
The owner of the spa, Kristi Ison, is a certified infant massage therapist with two children of her own. She created the spa as a place where children could come and enjoy the benefits of therapeutic massage, but also as a place where they would be able to experience mobility in a way that isn’t possible elsewhere.
Float Baby allows parents to bring their children to its infant water facilities as early as two weeks of age. Each baby is outfitted with a special donut that keeps their head afloat while they move their arms and legs in the water. The donut fits around the neck, and comes in sizes for preemies through 8 months.
In a recent interview, Ms. Ison stated that “We also have many clients with torticollis [trouble turning the head due to muscle tightness] and have learned that babies can gain five degrees of rotation or more with regular visits.”
The knowledge and focus on infant torticollis is part of what set’s Ison’s facility apart – and why it matters to you as a parent.
Infant swim classes can be difficult to find, and proper flotation devices can also be difficult to procure. If successful, Ison’s facility may inspire other entrepreneurs to follow her lead and create more water resources for younger children – something that could change the prevalence of infant torticollis and help our children heal.
Recommended therapies for torticollis include muscle strengthening activities and play that engages arms and legs – that’s a tough order for newborns and young infants, but one that safe aquatic play can fulfill. Aquatic therapy offers other benefits for children that can help improve the prognosis of torticollis, as well.
In an article on the North Shore Pediatric Therapy website, licensed physical therapist Bridget Hobbs mentions that aquatic therapy can improve muscle strength, among other benefits, “Once proper range of motion is achieved at a joint, proper strengthening is needed in order for the muscle to perform well at its new length. Using the principle of resistance, muscles are able to gain strength by performing simple actions in the water, such as lifting a leg to the side of the body.”
Assuming that Kristi Ison’s idea takes off, we may soon see more infant spas across the US – a promising sign for all parents, especially those who have a child suffering from infant torticollis.