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Our toy medical kits help kids understand what happens when they're poorly

By Asda Community Team

February 22, 2018 09:59am
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Our Falmouth store's community champion Lisa Kirkpatrick donated these toy medical kits to the wonderful staff at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro to make visits to the hospital less daunting for children.

The hospital's play team use dolls and the toy kits to help children understand the treatment they're receiving.

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Lisa donates the toys to Gill

Lisa called in to the hospital to see how staff use the toys for young patients like six-year-old Caitlyn, who was treated at the hospital for dehydration after picking up an eye infection.

She was given a cannula, and the team used the toy kit to show how it works and what would happen when it was removed.

Her mum Zoe said: "They explained the process of putting a cannula in and it helped her understand what was happening. It also distracted her and took her mind off feeling poorly. Everyone was lovely at the hospital – they're so nice.

"Caitlyn had an overnight stay, but she's back home now. She's on antibiotics but she's on the mend."

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Lisa and Gill use the toys to explain procedures to Caitlyn

Lisa said: "I've got two children who had operations at a young age, so I remembered how much this type of play helped them understand what would happen – and jumped at the chance to help when they asked for our support.

"It was a really moving experience to see the difference the toys make. Using teddies and the kit, they discussed with Caitlyn how the drip had been put in and how it would be removed.

"She was very receptive to this and her parents valued the support the play team were able to give her, and I'm so happy Caitlyn is recovering.

"It was a wonderful visit, and I hope to be able to work with the team again soon."

The hospital's senior play specialist Gill Caddy said: "Our role is to support children during their time here, provide activities for them and their siblings, and help them understand what’s going on.

"We have a child who visits regularly for blood transfusions who, at first, was terrified about coming to the hospital. After working with us, she now looks forward to it."

Karen Murrish, who's fundraising manager for Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity, said: "The play team at the hospital are always in need of these medical play sets. They're simple but have a big impact, so it was fantastic to get a positive response when we asked our local Asda for a donation."

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