For many young children, doctor appointments can be stressful and overwhelming, especially during their first visit. According to a University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital survey, half of the children (aged two to five) are afraid of going to the doctor.
When kids feel scared of clinic visits, the experience can be challenging for the whole family. Some parents had to deal with their child having a meltdown during a routine check-up, while others simply postponed or canceled the appointment because of their child’s fear.
Clinic visits are also more overwhelming for kids with special needs. They have many medical and dental care needs, limiting their ability to do things other children their age can do. They often have to see a doctor to help them cope with their conditions and increase their overall quality of life.
Many children with special needs may feel helpless and scared when visiting a doctor’s office, so clinicians need to find ways to make them feel as comfortable and secure as possible. This includes building a solid relationship with them and their parents to coordinate the child’s healthcare needs and providing a safe space for them in your clinic.
Fortunately, there are ways for medical and dental professionals to help ease young children’s anxiety while visiting their clinic. And one effective solution is by placing NunoErin products in their waiting area.
What Are NunoErin Products?
NunoErin products are specially designed digital play products and interactive furniture that can transform any ordinary clinic space into a fun, dynamic area for kids. Utilizing high-quality touch technology, these digital platforms allow collaborative gameplay, engagement, and artistic activities that help provide positive distractions for anxious children. The two main NunoErin product lines are Sparkle and Ucreate.
These are furniture, including benches, tables, and wall panels, with built-in interactive light effects. When children hover their hands over the interactive furniture, the lights will dance across the surface like magic, allowing them to play with different light transformations as they wait for their doctor to call them.
These are digital play products that can be displayed on a clinic wall. Combining art and arcade, these interactive wall panels can allow children to put together digital puzzles, act as an interactive coloring book, and play other intuitive games.
Top 5 Ways NunoErin Transforms Your Clinic’s Waiting Room
#1: Building a Safe Space for Children With Special Needs
Children with special needs face different emotional, behavioral, and physical challenges, and they often need to undergo more frequent clinic visits. NunoErin products are wonderful outlets for play and artistic exploration for these kids. In particular, children with ADHD and autism enjoy much-needed sensory stimulation with the colorful NunoErin wall panels and benches.
Here is a relevant case study: TrustCare Kids, a pediatric care clinic, was involved in a research study about the value of NunoErin products in creating a better overall healthcare experience for their patients. Lead pediatrician Dr. Catherine P. Phillippi shared about meeting a boy with autism. The young patient was immediately drawn to one of the NunoErin wall tablets.
“He was completely distracted and allowed the whole exam to take place with no resistance whatsoever. The mom was tearful! She said he has never cooperated like this before as he had always been afraid,” Dr. Phillippi said in an interview for the study.
In another relevant case study, Beyond Therapy, a physical, occupational, and speech therapy provider for kids with special needs, incorporated a NunoErin Sparkle Bench into their office. They found that the technology was valuable for capturing the children’s attention and enhancing their in-session experience, helping them visualize their therapists’ instructions more easily.
One patient, a 4-year-old who suffered from spina bifida, became more motivated to perform leg exercises by sitting on the Sparkle Bench and moving his legs to change the colors of the lights. Other patients with hyper-tonicity learned to stretch their tight hand muscles by hovering their hands over the bench and watching the lights.
#2: Turning Wait Times Into Play Times
Having to wait for a doctor to call you into their office can make any individual feel restless, but it’s especially true for young children who get impatient with long waiting times. Instead of expecting a child to sit still, having NunoErin products around can stimulate their imagination and fulfill their play needs.
Now, when they think of the doctor’s office, they associate the experience with memories of playing with fun, interactive displays instead of stress or boredom. This may even help make them feel excited about their next clinic visit.
#3: Easing Anxiety Through Fun
Some children feel extreme anxiety over the idea of getting a check-up with their clinician, and the best way to help ease their feelings of worry is by providing positive distractions. According to one National Institutes of Health study, clinic waiting areas that provide positive distractions for young patients are associated with more calm behavior and less gross movement.
NunoErin products are designed to help provide calming distractions for children as they wait in a clinic. With these products, kids can find a more productive outlet for their nervous energy, engaging with the light effects on the benches or playing puzzles on the wall display.
#4: Fostering Trust
According to a survey interviewing parents whose children are afraid of going to the doctor, 43% say that “stranger anxiety” is why their little one doesn’t want to go to the clinic. This shows that establishing trust immediately is vital to get children to cooperate with medical exams and check-ups. Having NunoErin products in your waiting room can help children associate your clinic with fun and good memories, which helps kids see and trust doctors as their friends.
#5: Helping Ease Parents’ Worries
When their little ones are afraid of doctors’ appointments, parents will be affected as well. In fact, one survey found that 1 in 5 parents say that they find it hard to concentrate on what doctors are telling them when their children are upset, anxious, or scared. With NunoErin products in the waiting room, kids can feel calmer and less stressed, thus helping ease their parents’ anxious thoughts and feelings.
In a case study, Heather B., a mother of a boy with autism, shared her experience with NunoErin products in the TrustCare Kids clinic. She said, “[The appointment] felt more like a play date than a doctor’s visit. I’m actually looking forward to our next visit!”
NunoErin Could Make a Difference for Young Patients
Visiting a doctor for the first time doesn’t always have to be a stressful time for kids. With NunoErin products, you can turn your clinic into a safe space that helps calm children’s anxiety and create an overall fun and memorable experience for families.
If you’re interested in getting a NunoErin product for your clinic, reach out to your friendly Benco rep for more information. Get in touch with us today!