Decrease Needle Fear and Pain with Smileyscope

There was a recent study by the US National Library of Medicine that states that 50% of children have needle fear. Adults can also struggle, especially when they have experienced a traumatic needle procedure as a child.

Child life specialists provide developmentally appropriate information about medical procedures and teach children coping skills.  One tool that many specialists incorporate is virtual reality (VR) goggles. Being immersed in a VR game or video can help distract patients and allow medical providers to complete their job without causing trauma.

I’m thrilled to share an amazing new resource that is supporting children with needle fear, Smileyscope. I had the opportunity to play with SmileyScope and see all the features it offers. The one thing that I loved the most is that it provides patients with an underwater experience that aligns with receiving a needle procedure such as a blood draw, vaccination, or port access.

Guest Blogger, Michelle Loughery from Smileyscope 

Understanding from other Child Life Specialists I have talked with, Covid-19 has significantly changed the way your profession supports children and families’ medical experiences. There is now an innovative option that reframes needle procedures – which children fear the most – and can assist you on several levels. Smileyscope will enable you to be better equipped to ‘social distance,’ while still successfully achieving your objectives to improve patients’ fear and anxiety in stressful environments.

Smileyscope is a 510K exempt, Class I medical-grade Virtual Reality (VR) goggle with proprietary software for:

  • Needle procedures – a choreographed “underwater adventure” to help reduce pain, anxiety, and first-stick success, with virtual waves that match when the clinician cleans with antiseptic, and fish nibble when the needle is inserted (this is patented and unique to Smileyscope)
  • Deep breathing – to support patients during times of high anxiety and distress, with a focus on being calm
  • Wellness – mindfulness and relaxation with music therapy, to allow children to virtually visit with seals and kittens, and also experience a virtual “cafe”

The goal is to improve the experience for the patient, parents, and health care providers and to reduce workplace disruption and costly delays or multiple attempts of the procedure. Smileyscope was developed by a multidisciplinary team – including CLSs – with two large RCT trials performed (The Journal of Pediatrics) documenting the efficacy in reducing pain, anxiety, and the need for restraints in patients 4-11 years of age. The facilities in which the trial took place were Monash Children’s and Royal Children’s Hospitals, both in Melbourne, Australia, where Smileyscope as a company was founded.

Smileyscope’s VR goggles are specifically designed for easy disinfection between patients and exceeds hospital infection control standards. It is very easy to learn and use, requiring no change to your standard protocols for blood draws, IV catheters, or port accesses. Although several anesthesiologists have mentioned the need to wait to place an IV, provide a nerve block, or do a lumbar puncture after the child is sedated, all of these processes are done in the OR. Those in this arena understand Smileyscope could benefit them by using it as a distraction initially, eliminating the delay.

Where to Purchase

You can order Smileyscope directly from their website, by calling (888) 300-7117 or emailing sales@smileyscope.com.

Be sure to follow Smileyscope on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.

 

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4 Activities for Moms and Kids That Lighten the Mood During the Pandemic

Guest Blogger, Rachelle Wilber

This has been a tough year for all sorts of people, and your family is likely feeling the strain. With normal activities canceled and the pandemic bringing a constant sense of unease, you might be finding it hard to lighten the mood. This is especially problematic if you have young children. Despite all the madness swirling in the adult world around them, kids are simply trying to enjoy their childhoods. You can do them a big favor by finding fun activities to cheer them up and bring some sunshine into their lives. While countless outings could do the trick, these four activities are particularly worth considering.

Have a Picnic

Even in the winter, you can bundle up and enjoy the pleasures of eating a meal in the great outdoors. This is a perfect pandemic activity because you can do it away from other people. It’s a big world out there, and you’re sure to find some patch of grass where you can stay properly socially distanced. Bring the kids’ favorite toys, and your lunch could turn into a memorable afternoon.

Visit a Pharmacy

When typical attractions are closed, it’s on parents like you to find unique sources of entertainment. Pharmacies are about much more than pills and medications. Between bulk packages of candy, holiday-themed decorations, and an assortment of toys, there’s plenty in your average pharmacy that will get kids excited.

Go for a Hike

Hiking is an especially great activity because it is both fun and active. Your kids probably have lots of pent up energy from spending so much time cooped up indoors, and they’ll enjoy being able to blow off some steam out on the trail. They’ll also benefit from substituting a bit of fresh air and nature for their typical pandemic-era screen time.

Have a Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are almost as much fun for a parent to prepare as they are for kids to carry out. All you need for this activity is an outdoor space (a park will work if you don’t have a yard) and a handful of household items. You’ll get a kick out of hiding your belongings, and the kids will get a real thrill from the hunt.

With a bit of creativity, you can still have plenty of family fun during the pandemic. These activities are proven hits among kids and adults alike.

Author Bio

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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“Where are you Lydie?” Spotlight and Giveaway

Grief and loss is a journey that many families face, but how do we support young children with a sibling loss? As a child life specialist, I’m always incorporating books, play, and creative arts to help kids process their loss and find outlets for expression. The loss of a sibling through miscarriage, stillbirth, or even as a child can be difficult to understand.

I’m delighted to share a beautiful story written by a bereaved mother, Emma Poore in the honor of her daughter, Lydie.

Images copyright Emma Poore
Guest Blogger, Emma Poore

“Where are you Lydie?” is a special picture book, sensitively written and illustrated for children between 3 and 7 years old. It is a facilitative story and guide for young children and their parents to explore death and bereavement together and to start those difficult conversations or explore the questions that may come up after the death of a baby in a safe and inspiring space. Grandparents, Teachers, Caring Support Professionals, and friends can also share the story as a platform for exploration too.

 SANDS – stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK has endorsed this “Where are you Lydie?”

Images copyright Emma Poore
Where to Purchase

You can purchase “Where are you Lydie?” directly from Emma’s website.

Testimonials

“Warm and beautifully illustrated picture book for children about sibling loss and bereavement to support families through the grief of baby loss.” Child Bereavement UK

“A beautifully illustrated storybook for children who have been affected by the loss of a sibling. It’s an honest, sensitive and comforting story about two brothers trying to decide what to do, on what would have been their sister Lydie’s first birthday. A beautiful, engaging and sensitive book, to help make something so hard to talk to children about a little easier – and which would bring comfort to adults reading it too.” The Miscarriage Association

Images copyright Emma Poore
Author Bio

Emma Poore is a children’s author and illustrator with a diverse background in Theatre and Events. Honoring her daughter Lydie and her family’s bereavement journey through the eyes of her young sons, George and Henry, “Where are you Lydie?” is an illustrated picture book for young bereaved siblings affected by the death of a baby brother or sister. Endorsed by Sands – stillbirth and neonatal death charity and recommended by a growing number of bereavement charities and healthcare professionals, Emma’s book continues to be well received by many bereaved families worldwide.

Emma has written and talked about her family’s experience of child grief and sibling loss for The Telegraph, The Independent and various other publications and podcasts. To read her blog, more reviews, and find out more visit www.emmapoore.co.uk.  Be sure to follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Images copyright Emma Poore

We will be giving away a copy of “Where are you Lydie?” to one lucky winner.

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag a friend.
  3. Facebook: Follow @EmmaPooreAuthor
  4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @EmmaPooreAuthor and tag two friends in the post.
  5. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @EmmaPoore4

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 1/30/21.

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