Play is a natural part of being a child, and our DMA4Families team doesn’t believe play has to end while children visit a healthcare clinic or are in the hospital. DMA4Families works with creative manufacturers, including Kidzpace Interactive and BoMar Soft Playgrounds, and strives to provide options that allow healthcare facilities to create a welcoming, playful environment; leading to a better healthcare experience for everyone involved.
Here are 7 important reasons play is valuable in a healthcare setting:
- Stress Relief: Interactive electronic games have huge benefits by occupying and entertaining players; effectively relieving a patient’s stress and anxiety.
- Distraction: Creating and accomplishing new tasks while playing a game, or having fun climbing and sitting on soft play sculptures, can be great distractions for children while spending time in a healthcare facility.
- Easing Pain: There is new research showing that playing interactive video games can produce an analgesic response, or a pain-reducing response, as players focus intensely on the problem solving and strategies gaming requires.
- Rehabilitation: Focusing on hand-eye coordination, attention to detail, recognizing patterns, and visual processing are just some of the physical benefits when play is used as part of rehabilitation.
- Curbing Boredom: Playing on soft sculptures — whether an animal, car, tunnel, or tree — or being engaged and laughing while playing a video game can be positive stimulation for a child that may otherwise be bored or anxious.
- Achievement: Conquering a soft play sculpture or interactive game can never be underestimated. A positive sense of self, especially while in a hospital setting, can do wonders.
- Caring Environment: Showing kids they are being thought of, and their feelings considered during the healthcare process, is important to them. Providing a comfortable and playful setting creates a positive impression, and is a key part of a successful and caring patient environment. (Parents notice these efforts, too!)
The biggest benefit to using play in healthcare may be when adults — parents, older siblings, and healthcare providers — learn about the child’s fears and concerns. As kids play, then relax, they may be more open to sharing what they are feeling. It’s important information, and crucial to helping every family deal with their own healthcare experience.
Learn more about DMA4Families and our partners, here.