Pinterest tag

Adaptive tricycles give mobility to local kids with motor impairments

OWATONNA, Minn. 11/2/2017 — Some children are not able to experience the same joys as kids who don’t have disabilities. Riding a tricycle, bicycle, skateboard—these childhood activities are difficult and nearly impossible for those who can’t walk independently or use a wheelchair. Until now.

Thanks to the generosity of Owatonna Hospital Auxiliary, children with physical disabilities, orthopedic and neuromuscular impairments who have therapy at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute – Owatonna Hospital will now have an adaptive tricycle available for their use.

“This is wonderful, and the trike makes it fun” says Lindsey Dahlstrom, physical therapist. “It will allow for further strengthening, range of motion and coordination for kids with orthopedic and neuromuscular impairments.”

Nearly $2,000 was donated to purchase the specially modified tricycle to help staff engage children with special needs in fun activities—boosting their strength, mobility, confidence and sense of freedom.

“We want to increase awareness and encourage healthy habits for our patients as well as the community,” says Dahlstrom. “Biking is a lifelong activity that people of all kinds of abilities can enjoy.”

What is an adaptive tricycle?
Designed for children with physical limitations, the adaptive trike provides a therapeutic, shared, fun and safe exercise experience. Benefits include:
• Large, puncture-proof wheels which move easily on indoor surfaces and outdoor pavement. A hidden stop prevents over-steering of the front wheel, plus, the steering is separate from pedaling, which makes it easier for early learners to maneuver.
• Self-leveling pedals, courtesy of a pulley system, keeps pedals balanced at all times; hook and loop straps help keep the child’s feet in place. 
• The trunk support system stabilizes a child who has poor balance.
• Headrests which can be easily adjusted for height, depth and angle.
 A rear steering bar which allows the physical therapist to guide the tricycle from behind.

“If we can introduce biking as a family-friendly activity by using adaptive tricycles here, families may decide to pursue getting one for home-use,” says Dahlstrom.

“Biking is a social, age-appropriate activity, offering kids with disabilities the chance to just ‘be a kid’ and play alongside their peers,” she says. “A sincere thank you to the Auxiliary for making this possible.”

A referral from your health care provider is needed before rehabilitation care can begin. For more information, visit or call 507-977-2150.

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services.

adaptive tricycle
Lindsay Dahlstrom, physical therapist, and Grant. Grant uses the adaptive tricycle during his physical therapy sessions.