TV's at the Childrens Hospital - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-23-2008, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Grrrrr. So one dd gets an autoimmune disease and dd's get thier first TV exposure.

Our first hospital day we went to a suburban out patient center for an MRI and there is a giant TV at kid level in the play/waiting area. We were the only ones there so I turned it off. Later I find out that the receptionist told FIL "when another child comes, I have to turn it back on". Now if they ASK, I can sort of understand. But still why can't the darn TV be on as 'as needed' basis. Just because kids may be sick doesn't mean you need to START from a place of mentally sedating them. You can have an active mind, even when the body can't be.

Next day was a marathon day at the big Childrens hospital (we saw 11 different people). In-Laws were there to be with both dd's (they wanted to be together) when Dh and I were having coversations with doctors. I come out and there are both dd's in the waiting room staring at the TV!!! Grrrr. At least dd's haven't mentioned it as part of their day and have mostly talked about running up and down the ramps.

Today we got to be normal at home.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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I'm sorry about your DD.

When my DD was in the children's hopsital, they kept trying to get us to watch their DVDs. They also automatically gave us a portable DVD player in the presurgery room. Also, the anesthesiologist tried to make small talk with her about her favorite movies. "What's your favorite Disney character? I like Sebastian the crab!" DD just stared at him like he was a lunatic.

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Old 05-23-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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This was my experience too...dd2 was too small to watch TV anyway, and luckily they had a big deserted library that dh could play with dd1 in!
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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I'm sorry about your DD's disease and the TV exposure. Geez! The TV has become like disposable diapers, people really forget that it wasn't so long ago that these things were not part of our lives. Now it's as if we can't get along w/out them! It's also disturbing that the hospital has fallen prey, given the AAP's own stance on children and TV. Not that I always support what the AAP says, but you'd think a children's hospital would!
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I'm sorry about your DD.

When my DD was in the children's hopsital, they kept trying to get us to watch their DVDs. They also automatically gave us a portable DVD player in the presurgery room. Also, the anesthesiologist tried to make small talk with her about her favorite movies. "What's your favorite Disney character? I like Sebastian the crab!" DD just stared at him like he was a lunatic.
That is really good to know about trying to give a DVD player - dd will be having surgery soon to put in her port. I will ask about this in the pre-surgery meeting.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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OP I know this is a really hard time and in addition to that to run into stuff like this is frustrating.

That said, for kids like my son hospitals are really scary places due to memories of painful and scary procedures. I understand the TV thing, I do (which is why I'm here) but if TV distracts a child from fear and anxiety in a hospital situation it's ok by me. I read a study a while back and playing I think videos or something during blood draws significantly changed the child's internal response to the situation. I can't remember the details....but I do remember wishing our children's hospital labs had TV's...which for me is funny since I was sooo avoidant of it even to the extent of avoiding areas of stores with TV's on. Did that make any sense?

Anyway, just another perspective to why a hospital or procedure room may have a TV despite the AAP recommendation.

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Old 05-23-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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We're TV free too, but when DS is sick, I see it as an exception. It helps keep him still, quiet, calm, and mentally distracted from feeling pain. It seems like that hospital is overkill, but I do understand TV for sick kids. You're totally right that though the body needs to be still the mind doesn't, but for very little children that can be hard. A sick child is often very hard on the parent and just being able to hold and hug a sick but calm child can be break from the major emotional demands of a sick kid.

I'm totally for a kid with a bit of a cold to play checkers, read a book or find a quiet toy. But a really sick small child can be very, very hard on everyone- including themselves.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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OP
I understand the TV thing, I do ... but if TV distracts a child from fear and anxiety in a hospital situation it's ok by me.
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:43 AM
 
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http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/548718
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Children who were distracted by television rather than by their mothers during venipuncture reported less pain, according to the results of a study reported in the November 28 issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Here's the study I probably read about...the timing is right. I know there are some others too though I couldn't find any other than this that didn't need payment to read summaries!

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Old 05-25-2008, 09:12 AM
 
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I think if I were going to use a media method for distracting my DS during a medical procedure though, I'd much rather it be a DVD player so we can choose what gets played in it, rather than noisy, commercial, sassy kids channel X just blaring in the background sucking him in. Ya know?

to the OP. I think I would have the same reaction as you. And I can't imagine how stressful it must for you to think about what's ok and what's not when you have the medical issues to deal with as well. Keep us posted and healing vibes to your DD!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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My ds who was 2.3months at the time, had surgery and honestly the tv in the room was a lifesaver. He would wake up every 45 min. or so for the first 24 hours frantically upset even though he was in my arms and the tv saved us. It kept him calm for the 10 min it would take for him to drift back to sleep. I was actually upset when the pbs shows went off for the evening. We were completely tv free (we're taking a break b/c we're moving) but in that case we were so grateful that tv existed.
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Old 05-27-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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My ds who was 2.3months at the time, had surgery and honestly the tv in the room was a lifesaver. He would wake up every 45 min. or so for the first 24 hours frantically upset even though he was in my arms and the tv saved us. It kept him calm for the 10 min it would take for him to drift back to sleep. I was actually upset when the pbs shows went off for the evening. We were completely tv free (we're taking a break b/c we're moving) but in that case we were so grateful that tv existed.
I know how you feel. When my ds was 3 mo. he had open heart surgery to patch a hole in his heart. He was very sedated for the first 24 hours, but after that, he would only sleep in about 10 to 15 minutes sections of time and then scream for 25-30 minutes. I already hadn't slept for days leading up to his surgery and during surgery and during his first 24 hours of being sedated (even though the nurses kept telling me to go get some sleep...i really just couldn't). well anyway, i literally got sick with exhaustion and so my DH held my DS (all hooked up to a million different medications and wires and things) and showed him the little bendable tv (i think it's really there for parents/guests as they wait with their child) on some nature show and it soothed DS enough to stop crying while awake and I slept on the little mat in his room.

so anyway, i know this is long but just wanted to add that even though i never let my ds watch tv, we did use it in the hospital and i don't think any parent should be judged as a bad parent for using tv during medical procedures on their kids (not that i am saying anyone was being judgmental about it, but just putting it out there).

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Old 05-27-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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I know how you feel. When my ds was 3 mo. he had open heart surgery to patch a hole in his heart. He was very sedated for the first 24 hours, but after that, he would only sleep in about 10 to 15 minutes sections of time and then scream for 25-30 minutes. I already hadn't slept for days leading up to his surgery and during surgery and during his first 24 hours of being sedated (even though the nurses kept telling me to go get some sleep...i really just couldn't). well anyway, i literally got sick with exhaustion and so my DH held my DS (all hooked up to a million different medications and wires and things) and showed him the little bendable tv (i think it's really there for parents/guests as they wait with their child) on some nature show and it soothed DS enough to stop crying while awake and I slept on the little mat in his room.

Not to hijack the thread, but we went thru the same thing (see siggie)...dd2 wouldn't look at the TV, but honestly it kept me distracted from the whole ordeal, just watching that trading spaces marathon. Like a sedative, almost.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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I do get what it's there for, and we offered TV to DD when she was recovering from a surgery at home and needed to stay quiet (she wasn't very interested). What was weird to me was that it was actually fairly aggressively pushed on us (nurses: "Do you want a DVD?? NO?? Are you sure???) and that the DVD player was given to us automatically, already playing Nick Jr. or something.

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Old 05-30-2008, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not judging any parents for using TV at all at the hospital. Talk to me in a few months and who knows what we will be doing (though I certainly hope to be TV free still). I know that it can be useful and helpful for some people

It's the attitude of the hospital staff that the TV is REQUIRED TO BE ON that really steams me. I respect the right of people to watch TV when they need to, really I do. If no one is watching the darn thing though, I want people to respect our right as a family to not have it on.

My dd is sensory sensitive to noise and touch. When she is overwhelmed she screams and hits herself. She's already stuck having to go to the hospital where people have to touch her (after they have passed through mama and asked dd), if we can lessen the noise - well we want to do that.

Yesterday we were in a waiting area (with a TV of course) and when it was obvious no one was watching the TV, I turned it off. A few minutes later a nurse came out and said "who turned off my TV?" Why does it matter to her, she's working, not watching it. After she left, I turned it off again.

Maybe I should be more forthright about it to the nurses and less passive agressive. I'm kinda drained from everything else and just don't know if I've got it in me to be argued with now.
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