STAMFORD, Conn. -- Stamford Emergency Medical Services and the Stamford Paramedic Association Local R-1 684 are making the holidays a little brighter for some of the community’s youngest citizens by donating a new toy to every pediatric patient throughout the month of December.
Games, action figures, footballs, and Barbie dolls are just some of the over 200 toys that will be riding along in the Stamford EMS ambulances as they respond to calls. In January, any remaining toys will be donated to the pediatric inpatient unit at Stamford Hospital.
“When children are sick or hurt, they are overwhelmed by big emotions, it is our job to share our calm, to help ease their pain,” said Stamford AEMT Robert Hackett. “The most beautiful thing in the world is to see a child smile. The next best thing is knowing that what we do as providers, may be the reason behind that smile. Being able to give back to our community, has been the most rewarding part of my life.”
Studies have shown that toys positively impact patients by reducing anxiety, and can help healthcare workers to build trust. Giving a toy to a young patient provides comfort, offers a distraction and can normalize a pre-hospital environment.
“An injury is a potentially traumatic experience for a child. While we’re providing high-quality emergency care, we make every attempt to make children feel comfortable,” said Patricia Squires, Stamford EMS Chief and C.E.O. “At the holidays, this is just one more way to make our smallest patients feel more at ease.”
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