RESNA Releases Position Paper on Pediatric PMDs

The Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) has released a position paper regarding children and power mobility devices.

The updated paper is entitled “RESNA Position on the Application of Power Mobility Devices for Pediatric Users.”

Approved on Nov. 2 by RESNA’s board, the paper discusses not just traditional power wheelchairs, but also the growing popularity of battery-powered ride-on toys, such as Fisher-Price Power Wheels, that have been adapted for young children with mobility conditions.

Those toy vehicles have been credited with helping to introduce power mobility to parents and their young children, some of whom are initially intimidated by traditional pediatric power wheelchairs.

The position paper says it seeks “to share typical clinical applications, as well as to provide evidence from literature supporting the application of power mobility for young children and to assist practitioners in decision-making and justification.”

The paper adds that the benefits of power mobility for children have been “reported as a clinical consensus statement,” and that the revised paper provides “more current and additional scientific literature.”

The paper goes on to explain the role that power mobility can play in a young child’s development by facilitating play, which helps to develop social and emotional skills. Power mobility, the paper’s authors say, has also been linked to overall physical and cognitive development in young children.

Other topics in the position paper include mobility and environment; effective and efficient mobility; mobility and exercise; which children can benefit from power mobility; and when power mobility should be introduced to young children.

“When mobility impairments lead to gaps in participation between a child, their peers and their family, power mobility should be considered,” the paper says.

The paper’s authors are Lauren Rosen, PT, MPT, MSMS, ATP/SMS; Teresa Plummer, Ph.D., MSOT, OTR/L, ATP, CEAS, CAPS; Andrina Sabet, PT, ATP; Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS; and Roslyn Livingstone, MSc(RS), OT.

To download the RESNA position paper, click HERE.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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