Eau Claire (WQOW) -- A local company, that probably helped prepare you for parenthood, is getting national recognition for its work around the world.
Real Care Babies, made by Realityworks right here in Eau Claire, were recently featured in National Geographic. The article, 'Can Robotic Babies Help Prevent Teenage Pregnancies,' looks at how the teaching tots are used in Colombia, where one in five mothers is between 15 and 19-years-old.
Ultimately, researchers said for the more than 1,400 student participants in one region of Colombia, the program reduced the teen pregnancy rate by 40 percent.
Realityworks President and CEO, Timm Boettcher, told News 18 the robotic babies aren't meant to scare teens away from becoming parents forever, but rather educate them about the consequences of having children when they're still kids themselves.
"We make them go get a significant education to drive a car, and I understand that. A car can be a very dangerous thing, right, and we make them get educated for that [and] we make them get educated for a lot of things," Boettcher said. "The one thing that we don't do, we don't have mandatory parenting education. We don't educate them [about] the impact and change it will have on their lives."
Realityworks has been making the Real Care Babies for more than 20 years and they're currently used in 90 countries world-wide.