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27 January 2017

Sensory used for Distraction

by Alexandra Hooson

The importance of Distraction Techniques
Medical treatments and procedures can be especially scary for children, creating feelings of powerlessness, fear and anxiety. There is a variety of sensory toys and equipment available that can be used for a range of age groups.

It is incredibly useful for Hospital Play Specialists and other healthcare professionals when using distraction techniques with children, as it can help create a calmer and better treatment experience. For the children the treatment and procedure can seem less scary and uncomfortable and their parents can contribute positively in helping their child to cope.
Distraction through sensory play is not a diversion from reality, but helps to raise coping skills. It goes hand in hand with preparing children through age appropriate play to understand their treatment and health needs. The sensory play between the child, staff and their parents encourages the child to cope with any negative feelings, fear and pain.
Distraction play can also be used to help a child cope with waiting around before their treatment, to lessen the build-up of anxiety as much as is possible, and also after treatment to help a child calm down again and get back to normal activities.