It’s natural for children to feel anxious in a hospital, but play can help make their stay much less traumatic. Play helps children cope with the fear and stress of medical procedures by providing an outlet to express emotions and explore their environment.
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Through play, children can better understand what’s happening to their bodies, allowing them to gain some control over a difficult situation. By using toys or games that mimic medical procedures, healthcare providers can show kids what to expect and give them an opportunity to practice skills like breathing exercises before a procedure begins. In addition, playful activities provide a distraction from pain and anxiety during treatments or exams.
These interventions often reduce the need for sedation or anaesthesia for certain procedures; most importantly, play helps children maintain a sense of normalcy and feel secure in an unfamiliar environment. It gives them something positive to focus on while they are away from home, friends, and family.
Research has also shown that when children engage in play in the hospital setting, their overall length of stay is often shorter than those who do not have access to play activities. Therefore, it’s clear that incorporating play into the hospital experience can make a big difference for children as they begin their healing journey.
Remember, play is a powerful tool to help children cope with their hospital experience and get the care they need. Encouraging healthcare providers to include playful activities can make a lasting impact on kids who are facing medical challenges.
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