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Making Hospitals a Tad More Kid-Friendly
Are children going home from the hospital really ok? Children are impressionable and curious of the world around them. Some enjoy exploring the world around them, and could possibly get injured along the way. When they get injured, a trip to the hospital can make their injury go away. But sometimes a hospital visit can make a child more uncomfortable than the injury itself.
Although hospitals can meticulously aid patients with varying physical ailments, hospitals are lagging in their ways to mentally and emotionally aid their most impressionable patients, children.
Children who get admitted into hospitals could become distressed and develop psychological disorders that could affect them later on in life. According to Professor Justin Kenardy, Maps, a professor of psychology at the University of Queensland and Deputy Director of the Recover Injury Research Centre, 10 to 15 percent of children who are admitted to a hospital develop post-traumatic stress disorder after sustaining an injury.
While the percentage may not seem high, given the number of children admitted into hospitals each year, the actual number of children impacted is significantly high. Those children can experience repeated, involuntary distressing memories, dreams, flashbacks, and intense, prolonged psychological and physiological reactions later on in life as a result of their psychological condition.
Children can also become distressed at recalling their pain, treatment or even general memories of their time in hospital. Hospitals can help prevent these results by checking their younger patients’ mental condition and providing a more comforting environment.
Supplying kids with different distractions could divert their attention away from a stressful environment. Although a hospital is a good place for recovering from physical ailments, it is not the best when trying to recover from a mental one. Many sounds, whether it is a machine beeping or a child crying and screaming, can possibly cause even more trauma for a child. The sights of unknown objects or people could make them feel uncomfortable or possibly scared while stuck inside a hospital.
The environment as a whole is not the best either. Being stuck in a small bed with a sterile scent in an often white room can be off-putting to some children. These components of the hospital can deter a child from getting better mentally.
Paintings or different colors around the hospital room can make the environment more appealing to kids. The color white is often used in hospital rooms to create a sense of cleanliness, sterility, and simplicity. But, it can come across as empty, cold, and bland to children. By adding a dash of color, whether it is in a painting or picture on the wall, it can make children feel more relaxed and less intimidated.
Different types of toys can be used to aid a child when admitted in a hospital. For example, Fidget Spinners can be used when children feel anxious and need something simple to distract them. Children can use puzzles or mind-involving games to divert their attention away from what might be happening around them.
While hospitals could implement toys or distractions to create a more welcoming environment for their young patients, certain safety hazards, regulations, and funding can prevent those steps from happening.
Toys or small puzzle pieces can become a choking hazard for younger children and donated toys may not pass certain health regulations in order to be placed in a hospital room. Items on walls can become a safety and fire hazard depending on their size and location. The small details and implementations in order to make children secure can also be considered safety hazards and meticulous to obtain and gather up for those working around any child.
Nevertheless, these concerns should not stop progress from being made. A toy drive is one possible source of games and toys. Volunteer groups can help decorate the halls and rooms. Nurses can wear small accessories that can make them appear less intimidating.
With a little thought and a little effort, a hospital can turn what otherwise would be a traumatizing experience less terrifying. A solution can be formed regarding the experiences made by children in a hospital.