When a child is taken to the Emergency Department, parents are understandably very concerned.
They have enough to contend with as they seek reassurance about their son or daughter’s injury or illness. So anything that can help calm their child while they are waiting for treatment is a godsend.
This is why a major part of the Airedale Hospital Emergency Department Appeal is for specialist equipment to keep youngsters occupied in the waiting area of the new children’s department.
Staff want to install an interactive media unit, which projects moving images like a fish pond or meadow scene onto the floor.
There would also be a dedicated toys and games area, and floor-to-ceiling ‘distraction walls’ that children can play on.
Plans have already been welcomed by one mother, Rebecca Leach, who recently went to A&E with her 11-month-old son, Clement Henderson.
She said a special area devoted to children would have distracted Clement and made her feel a lot more relaxed.
Rebecca added: “It’s quite a tense time waiting to see the medical team, and I am sure he would enjoy the interactive floor projection or an interactive wall.
“The care we received was good, but it can be really difficult waiting around and there are very few things to distract Clement.
“Even though he is unwell and waiting to be assessed, he still requires a lot of entertaining – he is a curious 11-month-old.”
Hospital fundraiser Bronagh Daly said the present resources to distract and amuse children are very limited, and the few toys available are old and tatty.
She said: “We hope we will be able to provide a more suitable space for children and parents when they are waiting to be assessed and treated.”
The Emergency Department has a wish list of items, including baby play gyms and toddler toys, baby rattles, small world figures and toy vehicles.
Toys must be wipe-clean and come as a whole unit. The hospital cannot accept soft toys or anything with small parts.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the fundraising team on 01535 294546 to donate toys.