Hospitalized Kids During COVID-19


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The hospital can already be a scary place for many kids and even more so now with added hospital restrictions due to COVID-19. Ivanhoe share details on how one hospital is calming kids and getting them up and out of bed.

Ten-year-old Maya Rak loves gymnastics, but leg pain turned her world upside down.

“We thought that it was just from gymnastics because I do gymnastics every week,” explained Maya.

But an x-ray revealed something different.

“The x-ray told our pediatrician that there was a mass in her leg. There was a tumor. And, then it was confirmed that it was osteosarcoma bone cancer,” shared Rhoda Rak, Maya’s mother.

Getting treatment for Maya was critical and stopping treatment even during a pandemic was not an option.

“Essentially can’t be interrupted, even with COVID-19,” stated Elizabeth Hockey, MEd, PT, a clinical specialist at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

Children’s hospitals around the country have implemented restrictions, such as limiting the number of visitors to protect their most vulnerable patients. Also inpatients have been required to stay in their rooms.

“Being stuck in your room, the kids often times will just want to curl up in their bed for days at a time and not do anything,” continued Hockey.

So, instead, some patients are getting therapy straight in their rooms through augment therapy. It’s an interactive software that uses the medium of augmented and mixed reality to engage patients to perform therapeutic exercise.

“It’s not like any other therapy, it’s more like it’s a video game and it’s fun,” smiled Maya.

“It keeps them active. It keeps them going. That in itself will help keep them strong,” said Hockey.

And hopefully get them out of the hospital sooner.

Maya’s mom says augment therapy is really helping Maya get out of the hospital sooner. Right now, it is not available in all children’s hospitals. Elizabeth Hockey hopes to expand it to other kids soon.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.


REPORT #2751

BACKGROUND: The immune system is made up of special organs, cells, and chemicals that fight infection (microbes). The main parts of the immune system are: white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus, and bone marrow. These are the parts that actively fight infection. The immune system remembers every infection it has ever conquered, in types of white blood cells known as memory cells. Infections, like the flu and the common cold, may be fought many times because there are many different strains of the same type of virus that can cause these illnesses. It is common for people to have an overactive or underactive immune system. An overactive immune system can include allergies to food, medications, stinging insects, hay fever, sinus disease, asthma, or dermatitis. Autoimmune diseases can include multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, or systemic vasculitis. An underactive immune system, also called immunodeficiency, can be inherited, arise as a result of medical treatment such as corticosteroids or chemotherapy, or be caused by another disease like HIV/AIDS or certain types of cancer.


MANAGING A WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEM: When you have a compromised immune system, try making changes to your daily routine which in turn can help you feel better. A good way to track how you feel at different times of the day is to keep a journal. This will help you recognize the times you have more energy and the times you feel tired. Be sure to eat a variety of foods with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Exercising and being active is important for immune health. Try activities like walking, swimming, tai chi, or yoga. Finally, personal hygiene is extremely important. Some tips are: washing hands often and carrying hand disinfectant; wearing a surgical mask in crowded places, and avoid crowded places completely if there’s a flu outbreak; making sure family members wash their hands, and sneeze into their elbows; staying away from people who are sick; telling your doctor about any symptoms as soon as you notice them to avoid a full-blown illness; and brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.


NEW TECHNOLOGIES ADVANCING CARE: Virtual reality and augmented reality are technologies that have become a way to provide comfort and relief throughout painful and unpleasant procedures. They can help young patients who undergo gastroenterology procedures, chemotherapy, and who have to get their blood drawn. Both Boston Children’s Hospital and Cedars-Sinai use virtual reality headsets to help their young patients cope with the pain, anxiety, and stress of their treatments. It offers a wide array of games, movies, animations, and guided meditations, making the program suitable for kids and patients of all ages. Floreo, a virtual reality platform, addresses this challenge while helping kids with autism spectrum disorder learn a wide range of social skills through fun and engaging activities. Instead of delivering therapy in the usual constrained environment, this platform places kids with special needs in virtual environments. Parents and therapists can supervise the experience, guiding young learners as they progress.


* For More Information, Contact:

Katelyn McCarthy, Media Relations

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