The Roundup -

Comfort Kits Will Help Children Cope in Emergency Department at RMC


When kids come to the emergency department at Roosevelt Medical Center, they are usually anxious and upset, either because they are sick, or someone they know is sick.

One local group is hoping to ease the often scary experience of a visit to the emergency department, by donating comfort kits to the ED to distribute to pediatric patients in need of some comfort and distraction. As a direct result, they are also helping put worried parents at ease, who are concerned about how their child is feeling, or handling the experience of an emergency medical situation.

Last week, the American Legion Auxiliary, Thomas Mann Post 81, donated half-a-dozen, hand-sewn, brightly colored bags filled with small toys, coloring books and crayons to be given to kids visiting the ED. "Our group was kicking around different ideas for community projects we would like to do and we really liked the idea of creating something that could bring the stress level of young patients down," said Julie Johnston, President of the ALA.

The comfort kits are not just bags of toys. The contents of each bag have a purpose.

"They help encourage coping behaviors, while distracting the child. They help promote relaxation, provide comfort and enable the child to focus on something other than the reason for their emergency department visit," said Haley Henry, Legion Auxiliary Vice President and Business Office employee of RMC.

At times, a trip to the emergency department can mean an overnight stay in the hospital. "The kits can make it easier for staff to relate to the pediatric patients and keep their minds off of their illness. It's also nice for the staff to be able to give them something fun to help create a relationship of trust from the beginning," said Jessica Schmitz, Director of Nursing for RMC.

Since 2010, RMC has seen an average of 94 pediatric patients each year.


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