So believe it or not, I’ve shared all the toys I carry around in my bag. If you think that’s not much, you’re right. My bag is actually quite small because it’s meant to fit just one thing: my tablet. But because I feel that there are lots of wonderful ways to provide support to patients than just the tablet, I stuff it with the toys I’ve shared. And I also make a point to avoid using screens with children under 2, per the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. There are times that I use the tablet with the younger kiddos, but that is after I assess whether it is appropriate.
It is definitely true though that I use the tablet quite a bit with my school-aged kids when they have blood draws. The procedure is very quick and playing a new or exciting video game is usually enough to keep them occupied for the duration of the blood draw.
I want to share with you some of my tried and true apps that I use. And for the first one, I’m going to share the app that is most-picked by kids of all ages. What is it?
This game is about running along subway tracks and trying not to get hit by a subway, among other things. You can power up or find things like mystery boxes or letters to increase your score or meet a goal. But from what I can tell, there is no end to the subway, the game continues to move faster faster until your reflexes can’t keep up. So I guess you can say the point of the game is to see how far you can run and beat the high score.
What I really like about this app is that you need only one finger to play and you don’t need to tilt the tablet. (Other similar games like “Temple Run” require the tablet to tilt side-t0-side at times, making it difficult to play during certain procedures). The game is simple to play, so great for all ages. And it loads pretty quickly which makes it great for those quick procedures like blood draws or shots. The best part? It’s a free app, which is great considering my work tablet doesn’t have money on it.