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Child Hospital Patients Are Driving Themselves to the Operating Room in Remote Control Cars

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It’s heartbreaking to see children in poor health, and hospitals around the country recognize that those children are often afraid in difficult situations. Several hospitals are trying to relieve some of that stress for child patients by letting them drive themselves to the operating room in their own remote control cars.

Hospitals can be intimidating for anyone, and even more so for a young child. Sitting behind the wheel of a remote control car gives kids the chance to have a little bit of fun in a difficult and scary situation. It distracts them from the stress they’ve been experiencing during their hospitalization and the fear that comes with prepping for surgery.


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“The cars give kids a sense of control and independence,” said Caitlin French, a child life specialist. “Recent studies support the use of ride-on vehicles to help reduce a patient’s anxiety during the transition into the operating room.”

Shriners Hospital for Children in Northern California is one of the hospitals implementing this practice. All of their cars are electric, making them safe for indoor use, and operated remotely by a nearby nurse. The small cars are designed for patients between the ages of 2 and 7 years old, but all patients are given the option if they are able to use the car.


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“We are seeing that the cars are beneficial to both patients and parents,” said Dr. Sundeep Tumber, chief of anesthesia at Shriners Hospital. “Kids driving to surgery are able to separate from their parents in a fun way. And, parents are able to say goodbye to a smiling child, instead of having to wipe away their tears.”

Sometimes surgery and hospital stays are inevitable for children battling difficult health situations. However, using remote control cars into the mix seems like a great way to add some fun into the mix.



Sources: Shriners Hospitals for Children, KOCO 5 News (Facebook)