Am I a Unicorn? Spotlight and Giveaway

It’s March, so Happy Child Life Month!

I love to celebrate by featuring some amazing new resources and including giveaways. I’m kicking it off with one of my favorite authors, Stephanie Sorkin. She has been featured before, so be sure to check out her previous guest post.

Stephanie has written a new children’s book, Am I a Unicorn? that is perfect for children ages 3 to 8.

Am I a Unicorn is a wonderful story written in rhyme about a unicorn that breaks its horn and grapples with the feelings of being unique and different. Can the unicorn still be a unicorn without its most definitive feature? The story touches on self-esteem and diversity and ultimately teaches the important lesson of accepting one’s individuality.  “When your OUTERcorn doesn’t match your INNERcorn…a story is born! Join us as a unicorn finds the answer to this very important issue.”

You can purchase your copy at Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Barnes and Noble.

Author Bio

Stephanie Sorkin is the award-winning author of “Nutley, the Nut-free Squirrel”, “Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces” and “Frenemy Jane, the Sometimes Friend”. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Ms. Sorkin donates a portion of her books proceeds to various charities supporting children.

Ms. Sorkin has appeared in the New York Times Style Section and written numerous articles for national publications.

As a food allergy advocate, she spends her time visiting schools in the tri-state area, discussing the inspiration behind her books and the importance of creativity.  For more information or to inquire about a school visit, please visit www.stephaniesorkin.com  

You can find her on social media @stephsorkin

We will be giving away a copy of “Am I a Unicorn?” 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. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and tag two friends in the post.
  4. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @StephSorkin

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 3/7/21.

 

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.

 

Related Articles

5 tips to help your child at the doctor 

Taking play to a new level with Parker, your augmented reality bear 

Reimagining the patient experience with SpellBound AR

 

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.

Related Articles

Supporting Children and Teens During COVID-19

Helping Kids Get Comfortable Wearing a Mask During COVID-19

Kids at Home? Staying Sane Through the Power of Play