Emergency rooms can be fast-paced and overwhelming for adults, and they can be even scarier for children. To help alleviate anxiety about emergency rooms and to teach tips for preventing injuries, Sharp Memorial Hospital recently hosted its annual Emergency Department (ED) Kids Day.
More than 25.5 million children under the age of 18 visit emergency rooms across the United States each year. Sharp Memorial's event is a chance for ED staff to pass along knowledge, skills and experience to kids about health and safety.
"It is a great opportunity for kids and their parents to learn about the importance of injury and disease prevention," says Lovely Bolano, a registered nurse in Sharp Memorial's Emergency Department. "Our goal is to reinforce good safety habits so children don't end up in the ED."
The day featured a series of stations, each designed to teach kids how to stay safe. The El Cajon SWAT Team, San Diego Fire Department, Rural Metro Ambulance and Chula Vista Police Department brought their gear and equipment for show-and-tell and invited the kids to climb inside their vehicles. Germ Buster and Dog Safety stations taught children about hand hygiene and staying safe around animals.
"This event is a good way to not only teach my children about medical and law enforcement professions, but also for them to get hands-on experience with police cars, fire trucks and the inside of an emergency room, so these things become less scary to them," says parent Julie Seaton.
"I had fun and learned a lot about health and safety that I didn't know before," says Kailey, age 9.
At the end of the event, parents and children witnessed the landing of Mercy Air — a helicopter service that transfers critically ill and injured patients to Sharp Memorial. Once the helicopter landed, kids had a rare behind-the-scenes look inside.