Clowns help kids to cope with sickness

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies

Spending time in the hospital with a child of any age can be one the bigger stress events in the life a family. Whether the diagnosis is known or not, the waiting, the tests, and the knowledge that something is wrong with your child's health is enough to send most parents over the edge. In an effort to ease the hospital fears during this time, the Big Apple Circus' Clown Care, of Miami Children's Hospital, employs 7 part time, year round clowns to help bring laughter to families and their sick children.

The clowns give to the families something that most doctors or medicine can't: laughter. ''We're the only people who go into their rooms and don't do anything invasive,'' said Tanza Smith, aka Dr. Moonbeam. ``They can throw us out if they want. That's really a gift for them.''

It's not all fun and games for these entertainers, the clowns work hard at this specialized job of entertaining sick children. In order to fully understand their job and surroundings, the clowns convene once a month with a certified counselor to help them with any issues they might encounter during their hospital visits.

Sounds like a great program. Having spent a bit of time in Denver Children's Hospital with our newborn, I wish they would have had this sort of program.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.