Children who are slow to walk because of diseases like muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or Down syndrome have been shown to benefit cognitively and socially by moving around with the help of a motor. The problem: most motorized wheelchairs are too big for the tiniest kids. As a result, some parents of such children have been stuck modifying toy cars to help them out. Enter Permobil’s Explorer Mini ($2,695): a U.S. Food and Drug Administration–cleared motorized device built expressly for kids ages 1 to 3. Kids can control the chair, available only with a prescription, via a joystick. The idea, says Amy Morgan, a pediatric physical therapist and Permobil project manager, is “to jump-start [kids’] physical development.” —Jesse Will
Update, November 10
This piece has been updated.
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