We get asked all the time if we work on children. The answer is yes, under certain circumstances.
It’s not unusual for parents to bring their pre-teen and teenage children in to see us for sports injuries. We’ve seen baseball, softball, football, cheerleading, archery and running injuries from some of Bowling Green’s most athletic children and WKU students. We love helping them get out of pain and learn better ways of dealing with their issues, like stretching, heat, ice, liniments, or even doing cupping and gua sha scraping to their areas of concern. Sometimes Moms jump in to learn some helpful techniques if the area is too awkward for the child to reach.
Why do we teach kids and their parents to do our job? Well, because it’s just the right thing to do. How can a new generation of humans come to appreciate non-medical preventative self-care unless they experience it? We don’t worry about losing business. The general population will always need our objective professional opinion and professional hands-on massage therapy care. Given the fact that we are the most experienced hands for their problem and the fact that we stay very current on any science and technology that is relevant to soft tissue care, uniquely positions us to get that call for help. It’s all about creating trust and the hope of recovering fast. Even kids want to get past the pain and get on with life.
Also, kids get hurt far more often than adults. Imagine a family with three or four athletic children. If the parents brought them in every time they injured themselves, they would be broke and exhausted. We can often shed light on the original problem that caused the injury, such as, lack of stretching, bad posture, repetitive movements (iThumb), improper icing/heating or the child having inadequate supervision while exercising. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention.
So how can your child receive a massage at MassageFIX?
First things first, the parent or legal guardian must fill out and sign every portion of the intake form, either online or come 20 minutes early and fill out a physical intake form in our office. Minors cannot fill out this paperwork. Next, the parent must fill out our Minor Informed Consent Form in the same manner. No child can be seen by one of our therapists without these four pieces of paper.
Parents must stay on MassageFIX’s premises if their child is 0-16 years of age, no matter how mature and capable that they feel their child is, and no matter how confident the parent is in their safety. This rule is solely about the therapist’s legal responsibility for the appropriateness of care for any client. For instance, if we had a non-English speaking client, we’d need an interpreter to stay and assist with communication. If we had a quadriplegic client, they would need to bring a friend to help with movement on and off the table and during the massage.
Once your child reaches the age of 16 and you sign the bottom portion of the minor informed consent, AND your therapist agrees (don’t just assume), then you no longer have to stay on the premises for them to receive massage. We’ve had some parents get indignant about having to sign this form or about us saying no to them leaving the premises. In these cases, we hold firm to our policies with even more fervor. We don’t take our professional state massage therapy licenses for granted, nor do we take your child’s care lightly, and we are less than impressed when parents do.
Lastly, as the owner of MassageFIX, I’d like to say that we absolutely love to have your little rascals as clients. Their sweet faces brighten our day, for sure!
However, we prefer that other (non-client) children not be brought with you as guests in the treatment room while you are receiving services. This doesn’t work for us on so many levels. Firstly, therapists don’t like to be distracted by peripheral movements, conversations, or stared at while they’re working. Also, our treatment rooms are small, and guests can’t help but be in the way. There is nothing worse when a therapist has a tight schedule, and they have to stop and vacuum cracker crumbs off the floor. Lastly, some parents assume that our receptionist will babysit, or our lobby is an appropriate babysitter on its own. It’s not, and we won’t allow parents to presume upon our staff, nor will we approve any of our staff to babysit while on the clock. Please be considerate and avoid bringing guests to your massage.