Snoezelen machine helps calm sick children

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - For kid who is hurting, or sick the hospital that is meant to be a place of healing can be scary and alien. But, with a few lights and effects, a cold hospital room can become warm and soothing.

"They can have the bubbles, they can have ht projector to look at the fish on the ceiling, there's aroma therapy so there's different ways to bring them down and provide something they don't have at home," said child life specialist Maddie Dumas.

At Our Lady of Lake Children's Hospital, there is an odd looking machine called a snoezelen that helps calm and comfort kids.  While it looks more like something off of a spaceship, with tubes and glowing light, it is a multi sensory machine that uses aromatherapy, bubbles, gentle lights and projectors to distract sick children from the stress of being in the hospital.

"We've used it for procedures, patients getting different lines and different stuff  that take a long time to do, we'll bring it in there. We've used it for patients who are going through chemo and losing their hair, getting haircuts and they can actually see what's going on and have a little more control over the situation using the mirror," said Dumas.

The snoezelen is just one tool used by the child life specialists here to help kids and their families cope with illness. The hospital has a play room and educational toys to help young patients understand what's happening.

"My job is to create a comfortable environment to make sure that the child feels like the hospital doesn't have to be a scary place," said Dumas.

By being able to act like a kid even through illness, sick children can focus on the important things like getting better. 

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