Power Wheels and other ride-on toys are a big hit at the holidays and can bring joy all year round.
For children with limited mobility, though, these toys present major challenges.
Missouri State University’s occupational therapy department has again partnered with Go Baby Go to provide modified, ride-on cars to seven local families.
The children will have final fittings for the cars Nov. 3 at noon at O’Reilly Health Sciences Center.
How are the cars adapted?
The department identified families with children who were 3-5 years old that had mobility challenges.
“For the children we are working with, the main goals of adapting these cars are to allow for increased independence, safety, and of course, to have fun. So, for some of our kids, the accelerator might be an issue,” said Dr. Jennifer Yates, an occupational therapy per-course faculty member.
The Go Baby Go cars are adapted to make acceleration possible through a switch on the steering wheel or other means.
“Other kids may need additional postural support to keep them safe, and so we’ve adapted the harnesses and seats to protect our clients,” Yates said.
Dr. Marc Willey, assistant professor of occupational therapy said the project brings a valuable experience for Missouri State students as well.
“For the OT graduate students, it is a great way to progress their clinical reasoning skills, and for the children involved, it brings an independence with an activity every child should be able to take part in and enjoy,” Willey said. “Overall, this project brings a lot of joy to everyone involved.”
Families will be able to take the car home Nov. 3 after all adaptations are finalized.