Trust staff create special face masks for children

Posted on August 24, 2020 by AireAdmin

A care worker at Airedale Hospital has created special face masks for children to help them feel less anxious when they come for their appointment.

The move aims to help children feel more relaxed when they come into hospital which has strict safety protocols in place for patients and staff to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Initially all non-essential face to face appointments were either postponed or carried out virtually, but occasionally some children do have to attend for blood tests and to have a medical review by the consultant.

Mary Nightingale, Children’s Outpatients and Outreach Manager at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says:

“We know that it might feel different coming into the hospital environment at the moment and we want our youngest patients to feel happy and safe.  We’re only able to allow one family at a time so we can maintain social distancing and follow guidelines, and then when they come into the clinic and see all the staff with masks on and their parents with masks on, it all looks very different to them.  If we can let them choose a fun mask instead of a surgical one, then we hope it makes them happier about their visit.”

The colourful  designs which include dinosaurs and unicorns are made by Healthcare Support Assistant, Sharon Cole, who had already been making adult masks for friends and family and when she saw how children felt coming into clinic, decided to use the money to make the children’s masks and so they get to keep them.

8 year old Filip Oleszczur from Keighley chose his mask last week when he arrived for his appointment.

Mary continues:

“Filip was really anxious when he arrived to have a blood test.  He was wearing a surgical mask when he came and chose this spotty one from a choice of masks that Sharon has made…he and his mum said it was much better than the surgical one and he liked the spots!  He was very impressed with staff nurse Katie Hunter too who took his blood test as it didn’t hurt!”