Kids cars are booming.
And they’re not just for the weekend.
On the contrary, they’re a key part of the health care system, too.
As sales of all-electric cars hit record levels, pediatricians are calling on parents to pay attention.
They are hoping the surge in demand will inspire them to open new pediatric care centers.
“We’re seeing a surge in pediatricians starting to open these centers,” said Dr. Linda Fuchs, chief medical officer at the National Car Rental Association, which represents some of the country’s largest car rental companies.
The number of pediatric care offices across the country grew nearly 35 percent in the first half of the year, according to the association.
In North Carolina alone, there were 1,836 pediatric care facilities.
“That’s great news for us,” said Fuchs.
“We’re not the only one.
We’re not alone.
It’s just the fastest growing sector.”
As a child, Carla and her sister, Jennifer, had an electric car for fun.
They used it to ride to and from school and play at the beach.
The kids loved it and loved being out in the sun.
When they got married, the parents had to buy the car to drive to their wedding.
But Jennifer and Carla could always drive their own car, as long as they drove the same route each day.
“If you can drive it, you can ride it,” Jennifer said.
Carla and Jennifer said they loved the car.
They even rode in it in the driveway.
“It was fun to drive it on the road,” Carla said.
But now they are looking forward to being able to take it on a long-distance trip.
They have been talking to other parents about starting a new center, so they can have a place to go if a pediatric patient is needing a car.
“When I see the number of people who have kids, I feel really blessed that I’m able to get out there and take care of them,” Carleasaid.
“That’s what I love most about my job.”
“My job is to take care for our kids,” Jennifer added.
“I love that I get to spend time with them and make sure they’re healthy and they’re safe.”
For the parents who have been waiting for this kind of opportunity, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first is the fact that the new car rental industry is growing at a faster rate than the other major industry, which includes nursing homes.
That is, it’s faster than hospitals, nursing homes and child care.
“The number one thing that’s going to keep them busy is the number one driver of the auto industry right now is the auto parts industry,” said Paul C. Heilman, professor of family medicine at the Mayo Clinic.
He estimates that about 80 percent of the new cars sold in the U.S. are sold with engines built for the car’s manufacturer.
That makes sense, because the number and price of those engines has been steadily declining in recent years, according for a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
It found that the average cost of an engine fell from $1,400 in 2003 to $1.75 in 2015.
The average cost per engine fell by $150 over the same period.
“They have to go out and buy a lot of parts,” said Heilmann.
“So, they have to spend a lot more money to get a car that meets the industry standard.
They can’t just buy a car without that extra cost.”
In other words, the new auto rental industry will be dominated by the automotive industry.
But what about those kids who have had a car for years and don’t have a lot to lose?
The most common reasons for having a car are getting a vacation, going on a vacation or just want to drive around.
“Our kids can have any of these things, and they want to go,” Jennifer told ABC News.
“I’m not going to have a car until I’m 50, and I don’t think I want to take that chance.”
Jennifer and Carlea had their first child, a girl, in the summer of 2016.
They had a lot riding on the birth of a child with a disability, but it was a great time to take advantage of the car rental market.
“Even with the kids, it was still a great experience to be able to drive,” Jennifer recalled.
“And to get them out there on the roads and do what they love.”
For many, the opportunity to rent a car while they’re sick and not in a hospital is not so much an opportunity to drive, but a chance to get to know the cars that they love and the people who love them.
“What we do with our car is just a way to share that experience,” Jennifer explained.
“It’s the most valuable thing we have.”
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