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Vernon Hospital gets Nintendo Switches for sick children

Two handheld devices have arrived at the hospital, courtesy of Starlight Children’s and Ardene foundations
A pair of Nintendo Switch handheld devices have been given to Vernon Jubilee Hospital to help as a stress-relieving distraction for kids staying at the hospital. (Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada/Facebook)

Children staying at Vernon Jubilee Hospital (VJH) now have access to stress-relieving video game devices to help make their stay a little easier.

Whether recovering from a life-saving surgery or receiving ongoing intensive treatment, hospital visits can take a significant toll on a child or teen’s mental health.

That’s why Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada is providing devices to hospitals through its Nintendo Switch handheld program. The program, supported by the Ardene Foundation, has provided VJH with two new devices for patients facing extended and difficult hospital stays.

The Starlight Nintendo Switch devices are portable and accessible in all areas of the hospital, and provide a bit of normalcy and distraction to paediatric patients.

A 2019 medical study found that virtual reality is an effective distraction intervention that reduces pain and anxiety in paediatric patients undergoing a wide range of medical procedures.

Through more than 30 years of helping kids cope with serious illnesses, Starlight Canada has seen first-hand the power of distraction for sick children coping with stress on their physical and mental health.

Pre-loaded with hours of entertainment, the devices are infection-control friendly with all surfaces wipeable.

Starlight Canada also arranged for 50 of their Fun Centres (mobile entertainment units featuring flat-screen televisions and a variety of multimedia options) to be delivered to 29 children’s hospitals across Canada in 2021. The new Nintendo Switch handheld program is intended to be an even more portable and flexible solution for patients and health care providers alike.

“Many of our Starlight children are not only bravely coping with a serious illness but also with the fear and isolation that can accompany regular or extended hospital stays,” said Brian Bringolf, CEO of Starlight Canada. “We hope programming like the Starlight Nintendo Switch Handheld can give kids a chance to decompress and unwind in an extremely high-stress situation. We’re eternally grateful to our partner the Ardene Foundation for helping to make this available to countless ill children in hospitals across Canada.

The devices were hand-delivered to VJH through a local in-store presentation. Ardene has sponsored a total of 54 devices for sick children to use in hospitals across Canada.

“Ardene and Starlight have partnered together for many years now, and we continue to be honoured to support these incredible programs that uplift the lives of sick kids and teens across Canada,” says the Ardene Foundation. “Through our work together, we hope to continue to do good by delivering distractive entertainment – and moments of joy – to those who need it most.”

READ MORE: Vernon hospital in desperate need of second CT scanner

READ MORE: Vernon woman looks to continue volunteering in Romanian children’s hospital

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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