Why play therapy is important for pediatric cancer patients:
- Playing is a natural way of building skills, confidence and personality in a child as well as a way to instill social relations and proper behavior.
- Children who are ill, particularly children with cancer, tend to lose interest in playing due to their long-term stay at the hospital and isolation procedures.
- Illness and hospitalization can be a major source of stress for young children. They meet many strangers and have to undergo many tests and procedures. This affects them deeply and could cause possible depression and misery.
How we use play therapy to help our patients:
To take the patient's mind off treatment
- Playing is an excellent distraction tool to ease the process of receiving medication. All children treated at KHCC have access to a nicely-equipped playroom. While away from home they can enjoy all of what the playroom has to offer including: computers, playstations, TV and DVD stations, puzzles, toys and a library with many engaging books and stories.
To identify any developmental issues
- During play therapy, a professional team at KHCC identifies conditions associated with pediatric cancer patients such as developmental delays, visual impairment, language and speech delays, learning difficulties and behavioral issues.
To encourage our patients to express themselves
- Play therapy provides an outlet for children to express their experiences, feelings and anxieties. The program helps pediatric patients cope with the stress of treatment, boosts coping mechanisms and minimizes the overall effects on their cognitive skills. Care is provided by volunteers and expert therapists through play, laughter and music.
Play therapy activities:
The Play Therapy Program at KHCC provides play activities that are both creative and educational, such as:
- Drawing and painting
- Free play
- Music lessons
- Computer lessons
- Arts and crafts
- Morning exercises
- Movie nights