Attention CHOP clinicians: patient education should be printed and assigned via EPIC's Teaching Library.
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Early Mobility 

Early mobility is working collaboratively with you, your family, and healthcare team to support your child in participating in movement and activity. This is done as early as medically appropriate during their hospital stay.

  • Levels of mobility may vary from gentle motions in bed, activities in/out of bed, or mobility out of the room.

  • Mobility will be guided by your child’s medical stability, age, abilities, and their needs as determined by the multidisciplinary team.

  • Your team may assign your child a mobility “level” based on their status each day.

  • Medical devices and lines do not prevent your child from being able to move. 

Mobility is important for your child in the hospital to:

  • Regain or maintain the highest level of participation in activity and/or mobility.

  • Maintain and promote strength of the whole body.

  • Maintain and promote movement of the whole body. 

  • Increase ability to interact with environment and family/caregivers.

  • Improve mood and affect and decrease the likelihood of delirium. 

  • Promote skin health. 

  • Promote lung function and circulation. 

  • Decrease hospital length of stay. 

I can help support mobility for my child by:

  • Engaging in care activities for and with my child.

  • Letting care team providers know what my child’s activity level and participation in daily routines was prior to their admission.

  • Talking to my care team providers about my child’s typical daily routine and schedule. Sticking to their typical daily routine is important at all stages of care.

  • Encouraging my child to participate in care, play, activity, and mobility outside of OT/PT sessions.

  • Bringing in any toys, comfort items, specialized positioning equipment, wheelchairs or strollers used at home.


Reviewed July 2023 by Meghan Burkhardt, MS, OTR/L, BCP and Katrina Budzynski, PT, DPT, PCS


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