Using playtime to help children manage anxiety in the hospital

National News

Salt Lake City, UTAH (NBC) — 4-year-old Corbin Cox loves playing “doctor.” 

“This will kind of hurt,” he softly warned his pretend patient recently while playing at Salt Lake City’s Primary Children’s hospital. 

From playing doctor to crafting with his parents, Corbin knows how to make himself comfortable when he’s at the hospital. 

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Intermountain Healthcare’s Jordan Anderson, a Child Life Specialist at Primary Children’s Hospital, says going to the hospital for any type of visit can be overwhelming for kids.

“They’re really anxious about it. It’s a whole different place they’re not used to being,” she explains.

The special playroom at Primary Children’s Hospital made a big difference when Corbin visited the emergency room a couple of years ago after a horrible injury.

“He had a traumatic injury where he was bleeding significantly,” Tom Cox, Corbin’s father, recalls. 

He was extremely worried for his son, but to Tom’s relief, the Child Life Specialists brought Corbin’s toys to his room to help distract him and put him at ease.

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