The Pumper Car® is a medical device disguised as a toy. It’s unique pump action creates a healthful, vigorous activity that activates muscle groups in the upper and lower body simultaneously, while creating a smooth, highly engaging and fun ride.
It’s also many therapists’ secret weapon to have their patients come to therapy and work hard. Some therapists even save it as a reward for their patients to do other exercises. At Legacy Salmon Creek in Vancouver, Washington they’ve even developed a special indoor track designed for their mini fleet of Pumper Cars.
Below are a few items to help you learn how your patients could benefit from the Pumper Car:
• a published Independent Review Board (IRB) study,
• a compelling video of a therapy session using the Pumper Car,
• a list of conditions and diagnoses the Pumper Car has been used to help, and
• some testimonials from your colleagues around the country.
Independent Review Board Study
Researchers at the University of Michigan, Janet L. Hauck, Ph.D. and Dale A. Ulrich, Ph.D. conducted an independent study and proved the Pumper Car was useful for all children, including those with special needs. Their results were published in the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. Click the button below to read the article titled, Acute Effects of a Therapeutic Mobility Device on Physical Activity and Heart Rate in Children With Down Syndrome.
We were allowed to sit in on one of Madeline’s therapy sessions. She has cerebral palsy that affects all four limbs. As a result, she cannot walk unassisted and her ability to get around on her own has been limited to a power wheelchair. Madeline has had physical therapy, with reasonable progress, at hospitals most of her life. But she’s making great strides now in strength, coordination and balance. Her therapist attributes this in large part to the Pumper Car because therapy has become enjoyable rather than an arduous task. Madeline frequently exclaimed during her session on the Pumper Car, “This is fun!”
Cindy Miles PT, PHD, PCS
Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy President
During the 2016 SoPAC Conference, we caught up with the organization’s president, Cindy Miles. She teaches several courses on torticollis and plagiocephaly around the country where she introduces various techniques of working with children. One of the things she has them do is ride the Pumper Car. She’s been using it for over 17 years now and finds it’s a great adjunct to her practice because it allows the children to exercise their upper and lower extremities. Cindy told us, “I like that the children have to work to keep their feet on it. This becomes a great activity for bilateral coordination and reciprocation as well. It is great for strength, coordination and just a great way to have fun!”
This personable six-year-old has spina bifida. He arrived at one of our Demo Days in a wheelchair. However, once he was on this Pumper Car, he took off around the track—laughing and challenging his buddy to a race.
Another story of a little boy with spina bifida is Angel from North Central Illinois. He has significant mobility problems and delays in gross motor development. Angel requires using a wheelchair and can’t stand without braces. He also suffers from reduced upper body range of motion, strength and coordination. Angel is enrolled in a public school but his condition often isolates him from the other children, causing him to be withdrawn. After his mother obtained a Pumper Car through a non-profit foundation’s support, Angel became significantly more active. He now is able to use his legs to propel the Pumper Car which gives him increased leg strength, Equally as important, Angel now feels more included with his peers and is less withdrawn. With his increased mobility, he has become more sociable and confident. His improved ability to use his arms and legs has, in turn, increased hope in his ability to learn to walk.
If you have a patient like Angel, who might be able to benefit from similar support, contact the Wheel to Walk Foundation to see if he or she would qualify for a Pumper Car.
The Pumper Car helps therapists across the country because it’s a safe and effective device that improves the health and quality of life for children with special needs such as:
18 CONDITIONS & DIAGNOSES
Brachial plexus injuries
Poor regulation of activity level
Poor sensory awareness
Sensory integration dysfunction
Type 2 diabetes
16 THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS
Age appropriate play skills
Praxis or motor planning
Regulation of activity
Social skills development