Mother and Daughter gaming in the hospital

Gaming in Hospitals: More Than A Distraction

While gaming can provide entertainment and distraction for hospitalized children, it can offer so much more. Many kids and families struggle with loneliness and isolation during long hospital stays — kids have trouble getting motivated for physical therapy, and parents get worried about giving them too much pain medication. Starlight’s programs are focused on finding creative solutions that support the real-life needs of chronically, critically, or terminally ill children, their families, and the healthcare professionals who care for them.

Kid playing in hospital while getting treatedDoctors, nurses, and parents all agree that our gaming program is a critical tool to help improve the hospital experience and healing process. Plus, school-aged children and adolescents seek play that contributes to feelings of mastery and achievement, which is one reason why Starlight’s Gaming program is so popular amongst this age group.

Here are all the different ways gaming helps hospitalized children:
  1. Gaming provides entertainment and combats boredom during long hours of treatment, extended stays, and after visiting hours have ended. Plus, it’s an activity that the whole family can participate in.
  2. Gaming provides socialization benefits including increased cooperation, support, helping behaviors, and civic engagement.
  3. Playing video games gives hospitalized children a sense of normalcy, which is very important during a challenging medical journey.
  4. Video games provide emotional support and are effective distractors, reducing anxiety, and stress in children.
  5. Games that require user participation lead to less perception of pain at the central brain level not only helping patients with pain management but also making difficult procedures easier for hospital staff.
  6. Gaming allows physical therapists to capitalize on their patients’ functional abilities in fun and novel ways and could require less pain medication.

two girl playing on starlight gamingFor more than 25 years, Starlight Gaming has provided millions of seriously ill children with hours of entertainment and a much-needed sense of normalcy. Our programs help distract and transcend difficult situations. At the end of the day, seriously ill kids are still kids.

You can bring gaming to more hospitalized children by supporting the Stream For Starlight campaign now

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