Engineering students at Boise State University are getting kids moving by giving them cars.
The toy cars act as wheelchairs for children with mobility impairments. It’s part of nationwide program called “Go Baby Go.”
"Go Baby Go" was developed by a physical therapist at the University of Delaware. The idea was to find a cost effective, low-tech way for these kids to get moving.
“There's a lot of research out there that shows that early mobility is what really fosters ongoing development,” Joy Ehlenfeldt, a physical therapist, said. “Whether it be language socialization brain cognitive development and so we really want to get our kids moving as early as possible."
Boise State's Society of Women Engineers is teaming up with St. Luke's to bring these adapted cars to kids right here in the Treasure Valley.
"This is kind of the standard build car so what this does, it has this PVC pipe support and pool noodles to help keep away any injuries,” said Emilie Murphy, president of the Society of Women Engineers. “Rewiring is done so that when this red button is pressed, it will make the car go. So all they have to do is press this big red button and off it goes." "
These cars are for kids who fall into a wide range of disabilities - everything from cerebral palsy and spina bifida to even having low muscle tone that slows down motor skills.
"Each kid is special and unique and so we want to make a car that's going to work best for them," Murphy said.
“Independence is such a critical piece of development and to be able to provide that to growing kids is just it can be a life changer for them," Ehlenfeldt said.
St. Luke's, Boise State's Society of Women Engineers and NuMotion are having a "Go Baby Go" event on March 11 in which families will learn how to adapt their own cars.