Taking a child for a hospital visit is something parents have to go through at one point. No matter how careful you are with your child’s care, a medical situation will arise, and the best choice you’ll have at that point is to take your child to the hospital to receive the proper care.
Children's Hospitals, even the most beautifully decorated ones, and with the best staff, triggers anxiety and worst-case scenarios to both children and parents alike.
To put it lightly, it's not a pleasant experience to go into an emergency room, but the story takes another turn for the worse if you have to leave your child in the hospital for treatment.
Every parent knows that leaving your child in the care of people that you hardly know adds to the worry about your child's condition. These two situations together are your worst nightmare come true.
The Hospital is A Scary Place for Children
For most young children, a hospital stay, especially if it's the first time, becomes an intimidating experience. Suddenly, they find themselves in this unfamiliar place filled with strange smells and strangers dressed in white. A study conducted in Finland confirms what every parent already knows: children are afraid of being a patient, of big scary needles, and adults who, from their point of view, keep them in the dark by not sharing information. Add a good dose of the children's imagination to this mix, and these fears can distract children from what they should focus on doing–to get well.
Art as a Means of Therapy and Communication
Unlike adults, children cannot readily express what they feel to the doctors and nurses who genuinely want to help them. If the well-meaning experts don't understand what the children are afraid of, they can't adequately address the situation to assist them.
Many expert studies agree that young children express themselves through play and art, and children's hospitals everywhere have and are using art to help the children heal and communicate. The right art can help in the psychological and physiological well-being of the children staying in health services and speeding up the healing process. The sooner the children get well, the sooner they can leave the hospital and go back to their everyday life.
Organizations such as The Crayon Initiative recognize the healing power of art and work with many hospitals across America to help support each hospital's art therapy by providing crayons for the children.
It may just be a pack of crayons to adults, but to children, these crayons are a gateway to their imagination and a way to conquer their fears. The hospital suddenly is less scary, and the nurses and doctors become heroes and not foes in their eyes. Through art, the children can communicate with their caregivers if something is bothering them. Not bad for a box of crayons.
If you wish to know more about the Crayola Initiative and how they bring color to the children's hospital stay, you can find more through their website. Alternatively, if you already know and want to donate, you can click on this link.