Angus and Sydney MacKay, the clinic owners. (Sammy Hill)

Angus and Sydney MacKay, the clinic owners. (Sammy Hill)

Kelowna’s play-based physio helps kids develop and recover while having fun

Kids Physio Group is in on Enterprise Way

~Sammy Hill

When you walk into Kids Physio Group on Enterprise Way, your first thought may be: This place looks fun. You would be right about that, but there is also a ton of important work that goes on within those walls.

In that space, babies, kids and teens all learn critical skills and movements that affect their development, help them to rehab after injury or best work with a disability. Light-up toys, therapy swings and a climbing wall act as both a fun time and a useful tool in treating a variety of reasons that a child may require physiotherapy.

Play-based physio is a concept that allows paedatric physiotherapists to treat their young patients in a fun and engaging way that doesn’t feel like a health appointment.

After working with Kids Physio Group in Vancouver, Angus MacKay and his wife, Sydney, decided to bring this concept of play-based physio home with them to Kelowna, opening their own clinic under the Kids Physio Group umbrella in August 2021. The MacKays recognized the need for this service in the Okanagan, having seen many children from the area at BC Children’s Hospital, where Sydney had worked in the NICU.

“We just loved the core value of Kids Physio,” explained Sydney MacKay, Clinic Director. “We service newborns to 18 year-olds, with a variety of things, like babies with head shape issues or gross development, kids with disabilities like Cerebral Palsy, Scoliosis, kids on the spectrum, injuries, concussions and pelvic floor issues.”

So, how would a parent know if their child may be in need of a visit to Kids Physio?

Here are a few signs to be aware of:

  • Preterm babies
  • Signs of preference to one side for babies
  • Flatness of the head in babies
  • Torticollis
  • Lack of progression in skills for babies
  • Injuries, consistent injuries
  • Marked difference from peers
  • Constipation
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence past the age of six
  • Spectrum diagnosis
  • Unable to participate with peers or complete a certain activity
  • Concussions
  • Gait abnormalities
  • In-toeing, out-toeing
  • Chronic pain

It’s quite clear that the MacKays have a strong passion for play-based physio and treating their patients in a way that is fun and tailored to their likes and interests.

“The facility is such a fun space,” said Angus MacKay. “Kids come here and they have a blast and they don’t know that they’re doing physio, that they’re getting better each time. Parents are like ‘When is the phsyio starting?’ and we’ve been doing physio the whole time.”

When asked what they hope to achieve with the new facility, Angus MacKay said, “Our goal is to reach any kid that needs physiotherapy services. We want them to know that we’re here and we’re able to support them. We want to help all of the kids in this community to reach 100% of their gross motor potential.”

Kids Physio Group is now open at 2045 Enterprise Way and you can book an appointment for your child online.

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