Mini-cars help kids with mobility issues gain more independence

Dayton Children’s teamed up with the University of Dayton’s engineering department, Dayton Children’s physical therapists, and Walmart to provide retrofit mini-cars for children with mobility issues during the Go Baby Go! event.

Engineering students and physical therapists worked together at Dayton Children’s Saturday to modify power wheels for kids with disabilities, according to Dr. Michelle Potts. The car is fit for the child with what they can use to function it.

If a child cannot press a standard pedal, a button they can push with their hands is developed, Potts said.

“For some children without good head and neck control, there are lateral support,” Potts said.

The cars are provided to the kids to help them gain freedom and independence, according to Stacy Porter, Public Relations Manager for Dayton Children’s.

“We’ve had a lot of great feedback. Parents, grandparents, and patients are really pleased,” said Potts. “They are just so happy to be able to have a fun new toy and be able to have an experience that they were not able to have before.”

The cars were designed to work with the child and empower kids, Mechanical Engineering Student Gabrielle Jackson said.

Physical therapists worked to make the cars more personal, safe, and comfortable for the children.

“It makes them feel special. They don’t get the opportunity to move in normal ways. To give that ability to these children is just a really meaningful experience,” said Jackson.

Walmart stores donated items needed to make changes to the mini-cars, according to Porter.

Potts said Go Baby Go! is a national program that held its first event in 2017. They hope to have another event in about six months.

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