Swimming and activity in water has a multitude of benefits for all children and young adults, including those with disabilities and learning difficulties. For children with movement restrictions, activity in water can help to increase muscle tone and strength, improve range of motion, and develop self-confidence. 

The great thing about activity in water is that the buoyancy from the water reduces a child’s body weight by up to 80% allowing them to move more freely and build up strength in the muscles. Some children and young adults may not be able to float in water or stay in an upright position. Luckily, there is one unique floating aid that can help children with special needs stay afloat and swim.

Krabat Pirat Floating Aid

The Krabat Pirat is a highly stable, innovative floating aid that can help children and adults with disabilities become more active and independent in the pool. This floating aid helps children and adults with disabilities to safely strengthen the muscles in their neck, back, and lower limbs. Created to be angle adjusted from 0 to 90 degrees, this innovative floating aid allows for floating on the stomach or for walking rehabilitation with the use of trousers. 

The Krabat Pirat can be adjusted with a headrest for children with poor head control, and it also allows children more interaction with their therapist or other children as it allows them to be fully stable in the water. 

What are the benefits of the Krabat Pirat floating aid?

The Krabat Pirat is extremely easy to use, lightweight, and because it features a titanium frame, it can be used in both chlorine and saltwater making it the perfect floating aid to be taken away on holidays for gentle relief in the water.

Other benefits of the Pirat include:

Improves physical strength and endurance

With each kick, stroke, and movement, water resistance helps to build muscle tone and strength which is particularly important in children and adolescents with disabilities as it helps to develop their gross motor skills and balance.

As children learn to float and wade through water, they are isolating core muscle groups and learning how to coordinate a variety of movements to improve both physical strength and endurance. 

For a variety of disabilities

The Pirat can be used for a variety of disabilities – children with spasticity, heart failure, blindness, and epilepsy who struggle with good head control and eye contact can benefit from the safety features of the Pirat.

Pool Training for Children and Young People with Disabilities Momentum Healthcare

Boosts self-confidence

There’s nothing better, or more rewarding than seeing the joy on a child’s face when they master independent swimming for the first time, and one of the main goals of the Krabat Pirat is to develop self-confidence and self-esteem in children with disabilities – for children, being able to move their body freely in water is highly liberating and the use of the Pirat can exponentially boost their quality of life.

Social interaction

The ability to swim and play in water can help to teach children with disabilities to communicate with their therapist and other children. Learning safety skills in water can also allow children to take part in activities they may normally have been unable to do such as attending pool parties.

Allows therapists more one-on-one interaction

Because the child can be strapped into the Pirat in the upright position, it allows certified instructors and therapists more one-on-one time with children to teach them the fundamentals of swimming and provide more specialist treatment.

Experiences with Krabat Pirat

Maria Ström, an aquatic therapy certified physiotherapist based in Sweden, trains children with a variety of disabilities every week and has been using the Krabat Pirat as a buoyancy aid to assist children with poor head control. She recalls how, with the use of the Pirat, more energy can be released in the water allowing children to move more freely than on land.

“A young man with hypotension and hypermobile joints had incredibly poor head control on land and in water. With the help of the Pirat, he was able to maintain proper head control in the pool, which on land isn’t possible. This has given him plenty of confidence and allows him to move more freely and strengthen his muscles.”