Young children develop as they explore their environment. Most are able to independently crawl, roll, scoot, creep, or walk around to explore and learn. When they are unable to do this independently they are at a disadvantage. They are limited to what toys are within reach and are often times stationary and only mobile by means of a caregiver leading the exploration.
The Physical Therapy Department at Saint Francis University has a solution. In collaboration with the national organization, GoBabyGo, the university will begin producing ride along, modified battery powered cars for children with limited mobility.
These modified Power Wheel brand vehicles will be assembled by Physical Therapy students. Following the blueprints provided by GoBabyGo, students will reinforce safety straps, build customized supports and rewire the foot pedals so the accelerator will be accessible by hand.
“We are very excited to have a chance to not only help children with limited mobility learn and play, but to give our students a hands-on opportunity in understanding mobility limitations,” said Professor of Physical Therapy, Dr. Heather Mack.
Infants, toddlers and preschoolers frequently have a difficult time getting approval for any power mobility devices. Through a faculty development grant, these $300 value modified cars will be free of charge for qualifying families.
“This program will allow me to collaborate with other students and create something with my hands that will have a major impact on local families,” said Pediatric Physical Therapy Resident, Hannah Walton.
The PT department is now taking requests for cars for qualified applicants. The registration deadline is March 12, 2019, so if you know a child that can benefit from one of these devices register below.