Child Distraction Techniques Sought: Report Being Prepared for Pediatrics Professionals: How Do you Help Children Relax?

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Speaking professional and magician BJ Hickman seeks contributions of techniques used for helping children relax in stressful situations (doctor's examination room, dentists office, etc.). If you work with children, what distraction techniques or attention methods do you find successful? Results will be published and reported for use by pediatricians and other health care professionals.

People who work with children are being sought to contribute ideas for compilation of a list of successful methods to distract children while under stressful situations. The use of humor, tricks, curiosities and other diversions are often helpful for pediatricians to calm the fears of young patients.

According to H.J. Bennett in a Southern Medical Journal report, Humor in Medicine (December, 2003), there are several methods to relieve tension and fear of doctors, giving children a feeling of control over their environment. Acts as simple as providing small toys for them, tickling them, or playing peek-a-boo can reduce children's uncertainty about the doctor visit and their own vulnerability to disease or pain. Older children like slapstick humor such as running into curtains or playing around with medical tools.

Patients themselves also use humor to ease their situations. By making fun of doctors and their own conditions, they "transform individual complaints into group pleasure," and create a more enjoyable social atmosphere in which healing is better supported.

BJ Hickman, based in New Hampshire, works with heath care professionals throughout the United States. He shares distraction methods from his expertise as a professional magician for family audiences. In order to create a workable, expanded "list" of recommended distraction techniques to share with pediatric heath care professionals, BJ Hickman is reaching out to various professionals who work with children for methods they have found useful.

In addition to pediatricians, dentists, and other health care professionals, all who work with children are encouraged to share recommended distraction techniques for an upcoming report. Teachers and parents may have proven methods to get children's attention that they use during transition times. Photographers may have methods to get children to "focus". Coaches and parks and recreation staff are encouraged to submit methods they use to relax children to stay on target. Those in hospitality, food service, and entertainment industries may also have ideas to share.

What "special treatment" do you recommend? Please be specific but brief enough to share with someone quickly. Are they things you do to make them laugh or relax or are they things you recommend they try on their own? Is your idea for distraction? For relaxation? Do the methods work on an occasional basis or all the time? For what age group does your idea for distraction work best? Suggestions can be emailed to: BJ@BJHickman.com. Contributors will be credited unless otherwise requested, and can be kept up to date as the research progresses. Ideas do not have to have originated with you. Along with your suggestion, please include (all optional) your name, occupation, email address, and your mailing address if you would like to be eligible to receive one of 50 free copies of BJ Hickman's book, Magic Speaks Louder than Words.

For More Information:
BJ Hickman
(603) 742-4010,

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