iPads as Tools of Relaxation

ipad-632512_960_720Recent research about iPad use in children is certainly interesting for patients undergoing operations – but a bit daunting for those of us who let their kids zone out with technology.

In a French study of 112 children aged 4-10 who were having a day surgery, the researchers found that computer games worked as well as drugs to help kids relax before their operations. Half of the kids were given a sedative before their anesthesia, while half were given an iPad loaded with games just twenthy minutes before going into surgery.

Then, the children, their parents and the surgery nurses were all asked questions. The answers to these questions showed that the iPads worked as well as the midazolam sedative did to help with anxiety. Even more significant, the parents and nurses were more satisfied with the children who had used the iPads than they were with the children given the sedative.

As researcher Dominique Chassard of the Hospices Civils de Lyon explains, “Our study showed that child and parental anxiety before anesthesia are equally blunted by midazolam or use of the iPad. Use of iPads or other tablet devices is a non-pharmacologic tool which can reduce stress without any sedative effect in paediatric surgery.”

Certainly, this information is helpful in terms of surgery. But it also indicates the power that technology can have over children; allowing them to zone out and become immersed in another world, of sorts.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]sunstoneonline.com.

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