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Trauma Dolls

What can a Kiwanis doll do?


A hospital experience can be overwhelming for an adult. Imagine what it is like for a sick or injured child. The child enters a strange environment of bright lights, strange noises, uncomfortable furniture and lots of strangers. Someone takes away clothes and starts poking and prodding. The child has no sense of control. Throughout all of this, the child hurts.



Here's a way to help those children: the gift of a Kiwanis doll, which can serve many purposes.

BOREDOM BUSTER: A child can draw on the doll with markers, distracting him from discomfort and boredom. Because the doll is soft and squeezable, it can be a comfort when the child is anxious.

OUTLET FOR EXPRESSION: The child can express his fear or unhappiness by drawing a face on the doll. Also, the child can mark on the doll the injury or pain she feels. This allows adults to discuss concerns or pains more objectively with the child.

DOCTOR'S DEMONSTRATION: When medical personnel use the doll to show a child what will happen during the procedure, it helps the child understand. Sometimes the child can even help "doctor" the doll. This converts the activity into something the child has control over. Often, this allows a child as young as 2 or 3 years old to undergo the procedure much more calmly, whether it's putting on an oxygen mask or having a cut sutured.

Each child keeps his doll when leaving the hospital, a positive reminder of the hospital visit.