Hospital eases the pain of sick children in a novel manner

Children's Hospital gets sick babies out of beds and encourages them to play variety of games to ease their pain and fear. 
Li Qian / SHINE

Children at the Children’s Hospital play with Teddy Bear in the presence of volunteers and healthcare workers. 

The Children’s Hospital of Fudan University on Tuesday became the second hospital in Shanghai to introduce Children Hospital Play, a project that encourages sick children to play games.

At the hospital on Tuesday, five children, aged over 6 and suffering from kidney problems, were accompanied by four volunteers and healthcare workers to play games. They were given colorful cards with pictures of human anatomy and asked to identify the parts. The kids also acted as nurses and gave injections to Teddy bear. 

“A study revealed that 80 percent of children at hospital show negative behavior. About 54 percent are upset and feel unsafe even two weeks after they have left hospital,” said Chen Ching-I, a clinical psychologist from Taiwan.

“So we designed games to give the children some medical knowledge and help them to get familiar with treatment. It also helps to relieve their pain and fear.”

But the hospital wants to do more than just have games at children’s wards. It wants to carry out systematic research on what kind of games help which children, draft standards and even publish a guide book, said Xu Hong, Party chief of the hospital.

Children Hospital Play was launched in October 2015 at the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center by BD China, a domestic branch of the US-based healthcare giant and local office of Canada-based organization Right To Play. 

By 2018, it had been introduced in seven hospitals across the country.

“It is based on our belief that children in hospital have the need to play just like other children,” said Anita Wei, director of public affairs and communications for BD China.

“The children are sick and some of them are dying,” Wei said. “We want to help them through hard times. It’s more meaningful than just donating a toy or a book.”


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