Fireworks and Colored Light Shows: It’s Not Just for the 4th of July Anymore

Rockets shimmering and colors twinkling

Flashes of red, white and blue sparkling overhead

This might seem like the 4th of July to most of us, but in the Radiology Department at Cincinnati Children’s you can see fireworks any time of year. These “fireworks” are part of the SNOZELEN, a light projector that displays a variety of images on the ceiling, wall or cameras in Radiology. The SNOZELEN has a number of image wheels that rotate in the projector creating light effects that can be calming or engaging for your child during their imaging or procedure. Many radiology procedure rooms have large equipment, and this can often feel intimating or overwhelming to children and families. Using the SNOZELEN’s colorful pictures or images can help children feel more reassured. Other children looking at the SNOZELEN’s moving pictures may use their imagination, begin conversations, or play “I Spy.” This is an added benefit to helping children cope successfully during their procedures.

Additionally, the Radiology Department uses the multi-sensory stimulation of a bubble tube with changing lights, colors and fiber optics for visual and tactile incentive. This system is a cart on wheels and can be used in a variety of procedure rooms in Radiology and is often beneficial with children with sensory or developmental disorders. Children using this specialized SNOZELEN product will watch bubbles and balls rise and fall in a water tube while colors change on fiber optic strands. This not only creates a soothing environment, but can also be a fun intervention that increases positive coping during a sometimes stressful healthcare encounter.

No matter what time of year you and your child come to the Radiology Department, keep an eye out for the “fireworks” or other fun sensory gizmos and gadgets.

Catherine Leopard

About the Author: Catherine Leopard

Catherine is a Child Life Specialist who works in Cincinnati Children’s Department of Radiology. She has always been drawn to helping children overcome their fears. As a young child, Catherine remembers sitting in her pediatrician’s office feeling sad as she listened to young babies crying in exam rooms. In response, she began singing lullabies through the walls to sooth and comfort those children in distress. As an adult, she first experienced the support of Child Life when her infant daughter was hospitalized. After that positive experience, Catherine completed her Child Life internship at Cincinnati Children’s and has worked here ever since. Her daughter is now a teenager and her son is an active 3rd grader.

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