How can you minimise the stress felt by a child and their family during a hospital stay?



How can you minimise the stress felt by a child and their family during a hospital stay? On 5 December, Hôpital de La Tour launched its La Tour Kids project, organised by the paediatrics, sports medicine and marketing teams.

A hospital stay, especially when it is for surgery, is a major event in the life of a child and their family. From around the age of five, children start using their imaginations to form their own ideas and become affected by what they feel and hear from their parents. 

How it works

Sport plays an important part in a child's progression and development, and children are often very attached to their favourite sport. This quickly formed the basis for an idea involving an elite sports figure who would visit young hospitalised patients to comfort and distract them. "Any operation, however minor, requiring a general anaesthetic is very stressful for a child and their family," emphasises Dr Alain Lironi, a specialist in paediatric surgery at Hôpital de La Tour. "Any attempt to make the event less dramatic can help make the whole ordeal easier," he adds.

Making a hospital stay more positive

The project was implemented with a view to making hospital stays less stressful for children and their parents, starting with the pre-surgery period. The Hôpital de La Tour team therefore decided to send out an intriguing letter a few days before the event to set up the surprise. "We want children to be happy about arriving in our department, so that they'll be more relaxed," explains Sabrina Bué, medical secretary and founder of the La Tour Kids project. When a child is admitted, they will find their room decorated in the colours of a famous sports club, leaving them to ponder who the star they are going to meet after the operation might be. "The surprise waiting for Nathan* after his operation made the experience much more serene and pleasant for the whole family," says the mother of a young hospitalised child who took part in the event. * the name has been changed

A successful first event with Matias Vitkieviez 

For the first La Tour Kids, Matias Vitkieviez, an iconic player with Servette Football Club, visited young hospitalised patients on the Hôpital de La Tour paediatric ward. The children were amazed, given an unforgettable memory to take home along with their signed ball, poster and tickets for a match of their choice.

A day to be repeated

The first event confirmed the positive effect of the project on young patients' well-being. The La Tour Kids team is already busy organising the second event planned for next April and is delighted to be able to repeat the experience regularly, several times a year. 

Chiara di Lella
Press and Communications Department
Tel.: +41 22 719 76 43