What is National Play in Hospital Week?
National Play in Hospital Week 2022 is a week dedicated to celebrating the magic of play in hospitals and the play specialists who help make that happen.
The week also aims to raise awareness of the benefits of play and how it can greatly boost the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of children and young adults who receive long-term care in hospital settings.
What are the Origins of the Celebration?
National Play in Hospital Week started back in 2010 when the National Association of Health Play Specialists (NAHPS) decided to raise awareness of their cause ‘to promote and ensure the provision of therapeutic and stimulating play facilities in healthcare’.
Just under 50,000 children in the UK have a life-limiting or life-threatening illness, and they will likely need regular trips to the hospital for important treatments and appointments. Hospital play services are essential to help make those trips as manageable as possible, dispelling anxiety and inspiring bravery.
The Benefits of Play in Hospitals
Play is usually written off as something fun. But its benefits are wide-reaching. As Cathy Gilman, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation, explains, “Play isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’, it’s an essential service for maintaining the wellbeing and development of children and young people before and after treatment.”
Benefits of Play in Hospital:
- Play helps children learn more about their health and understand why they’re in hospital and what their treatments are for, empowering their time in care.
- Play reduces anxiety, fear and stress surrounding hospitals, improving children’s wellbeing.
- Play can help to reduce the pain associated with hospital treatments.
- Play can give children a sense of control and help them feel as though they have some autonomy – something that’s typically lost through illness and hospitalisation.
National Play in Hospital Week 2022: Play for Resilience and Good Mental Health (10-14th October)
This year, National Play in Hospital Week coincides with World Mental Health Day, which creates the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the importance of play for mental health.
Did you know that children, young people, play practitioners and families all benefit from play in hospitals?
Rhino UK & Hospital Play
One of the most popular sensory resources in hospitals is our all-in-one sensory dream machine – the Sensory Voyager. Every voyager is portable, practical and infection-control friendly, wheeling from room to deliver joy, distraction, and big smiles to patients in need.
We’d like to celebrate National Play in Hospital Week by sharing pictures from this year’s voyager deliveries and giving a big shout-out to the doctors, nurses and play specialists who bring the magic of play to patients!