Going to the hospital can be a scary experience for children. Just going to the doctor and getting a shock can be unpleasant enough, but the hospital can be a very different matter for younger children, if only for routine treatments.
A HBC reader has mentioned an interesting book written for children by Frances Chase, A Visit to the Hospital The illustrations are by James Bama.
The book is a story written for children who might need to go into hospital for surgery. In this story the boy is going into hospital to have his tonsils removed. We follow him being given a reassuring talk about going into hospital by his older brother. His parents help him pack his suitcase. He goes to the hospital dressed in his best short pants suit. That might have happened in 1957, it certainly wouldn't happen today. When he arrives at the hospital he meets a boy coming out who is also dressed in the same way. He meets the doctor and smiling nurses. He is dressed in hospital clothes. After the operation the boy comes home and he finds a presents. He opens it up and finds it’s the fire truck he always wanted. The drawings illustrate the experience of the young boy’s hospital visit. This story was written to reassure children about what will happen to them in hospital. Both the child, the parents and medical personnel know that this can be a scary experience. The child knows he is going to feel pain. His mum and dad are worried about the operation and have to lrave their child behind who is suffering. They know they should be with him at this time. The doctors know that they will be able to heal the child quicker if the child is unafraid and comfortable and knows what the surgeon will do to make the child better.
Chase, Frances. A Visit to the Hospital (Grosse & Dunlap: New York, 1957). Ill. James Bama.
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