A hospital in Modesto, California, in the US is reducing little patients’ fears before going into surgery in a unique way.
To help ease their nerves, the Doctors Medical Centre has two mini cars for its youngest patients to drive themselves to the operating room, CBS News reports.
The hospital bought a miniature black Mercedes-Benz while the other vehicle – a pink Volkswagen Beetle – was donated by an employee and her family, according to People.
Staff at the hospital say they can see the children’s stress and anxiety disappear when they get behind the wheel.
“These sweet rides take our smallest patients to the operating room,” the hospital said in a statement.
“The goal is to reduce anxiety and stress and make the experience less scary for everyone involved.”
The idea came from a pre-op nurse, Kimberly Martinez, who after conducting research discovered that the cars have a lasting impact on young patients.
So far, the innovative approach appears to be successful, msn.com reports.
According to Martinez, the cars are specifically for kids between the ages of two and seven.
“When the children find out they can go into the operating room riding in a cool little car, they light up, and in most cases, their fears melt away,” the hospital said.
“In addition, when parents see their children put at ease, it puts them at ease as well.”
The one-seater cars are equipped with a radio and a collection of preloaded music on an MP3 player. The cars also have doors that open and working headlights.
“It can be traumatising for a young patient to be peeled away from their parents as they head into surgery,” the hospital adds. “This truly helps everyone involved.”