Hospital Lets Kids Drive Themselves to Surgery in Toy Cars to Help Overcome Fears

Being in the hospital is probably one of the most stressful times that any of us could ever experience in life. Imagine, for a moment, that you were a young child and you didn’t really know what was taking place. If you think that adults get anxious over the situation, children can get much more anxious. That is why a California hospital has found a rather unique way to deal with that anxiety. They provide minicars for their patients so they can drive to the operating room on their own.

The Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, California is now the proud owner of a pink Volkswagen Beetle and a black Mercedes. These miniature vehicles give the kids an opportunity to drive themselves to surgery. They wanted to reduce stress for the children but they find that it helps to make it a better situation for everyone involved.

VW Beetle for Pediatric Surgical Patients

With a little passenger in tow, Caroline takes our new pink Beetle for a spin! Doctors Medical Center now has two little cars available for our young surgical patients to ride into the operating room. We can see the stress and anxiety melt away when they hop in the car ❤

Posted by Doctors Medical Center on Saturday, March 23, 2019

These are not just a stripped-down model of the larger vehicle, they come fully loaded. Both the Mercedes and the Volkswagen have MP3 players with preloaded music. The driver can operate the music and play whatever they like.

The vehicles also include many accessories, such as backup lights, headlights and dashboard lights. The doors open and close and the seatbelts are more than just decoration, they do their job. The cars even come equipped with their own horn, so make sure you stay out of the way of these kids. These miniature vehicles are available for patients between the ages of 2 and 7.

Kimberly Martinez, a pre-op nurse was the one who came up with the idea. After doing some research, she found that it could reduce anxiety significantly in children who used them.

Let’s face it, going in for surgery is a frightening prospect, regardless of how old we are. A child has very specific fears about surgical procedures. When you also consider being separated from their parents, being in a sterile room and surrounded by strangers and masks, it can really leave children feeling frightened.

The distraction that these minicars provide before surgery can help kids to get through a difficult scenario. Parents can also do their part by providing explanations that help to reduce anxiety about surgery and everything else.

Children also pick up on your emotions so reducing your anxiety level also helps to make them feel less anxious. Being helpful, informative and calm can go a long way to helping your kids get through it successfully.

Of course, these minicars make a big difference as well!

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