Being a sick kid sounds like a good idea to anyone trying to con a free day from school, but what happens when the sickness doesn’t go away? When days turn to weeks and there seems to be no end to the uncomfortable routine, kids start changing their minds about what’s really fun. As a matter of fact, sick kids come to a startling realization after spending some time in bed sick as a dog.
You Don’t Get To Be A Kid When You’re Sick
The things kids take for granted start coming into focus for sick kids in the ECU. School is out of the question and sorely missed; friends, teachers, and even the lessons themselves are frustratingly out of reach. There can be no more bike time after supper; no trampoline to bounce on or playground to climb. All the experiences that make being a kid such a blast are stripped away, leaving sick kids with white hospital walls, scary nights alone and the smell of disinfectant becoming the new normal.
The challenges sick kids face are nothing new to caregivers, and effectively become the challenges of the caregivers themselves. Battling depression and ennui in the hospital is a primary concern, eased through numerous programs meant to bring the light back into a sick kid’s eyes. Recently, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, had a new method fall right into their lap. Except the method wasn’t all that new at all…
Pokémon Go has swept the nation into a frenzy, and the fun doesn’t stop at the front doors of C.S. Mott. Doctors and nurses have taken to the mobile game to alleviate the stress of a child’s stay; reminding kids what it means to be a kid again. To Digital Media Manager J.J. Bouchard, it’s an answer to a systemic problem.
“It’s a fun way to encourage patients to be mobile. This app is getting patients out of beds and moving around.”
Patients and their families now roam the halls of C.S. Mott, coming across several ‘Pokéstops’ where players can re-up their supplies and chat with fellow Poké Trainers. Those fellow trainers are other sick kids at C.S. Mott, and already family members say it’s working wonders.
A New(ish) Way To Heal
“We started just trying to get him out of the room to do something active because it gets a little depressing while you are in the hospital for a lengthy stay.”
Bringing the child back to childhood can do great things for the mind, and doctors know that a healthy mind is one of the first steps to a healthy recovery. The kids of C.S. Mott are certainly on the right track, no matter how their game ends.