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Watching cartoons can help kids to overcome their fear of dental treatments!

Our earliest television viewing memories are probably of our favorite cartoon characters. Remember how you used to sit with your siblings/friends and watch Tom & Jerry, Batman, Dexter's laboratory, etc. We have grown watching some of these iconic characters on screen and still remember the scenes, the lines and of course the laughs. While some of us still watch cartoons today, we’re really proud of that too.

Cartoons have helped us in relieving us from whatever stressful situations we were in. The animation, the voices, all perfectly created and synced with each other to form a kind of situation which we can relate to is probably why we enjoy watching cartoons so much. Amidst some unreal-ism and craziness, sometimes we still get to understand what the character is going through in the scenes. Such is the power of cartoons to temporarily let us abandon all that stress, workload and pressure and engage us into something both entertaining and relieving.

But now it has been found that cartoons can play a significant role when it comes to helping kids during hospital visits and practicing healthy food habits too.

Cartoons can reduce anxiety when administering anesthesia to kids!!

There is no doubt that both parents and kids can go through a lot of worry and stress before going for a medical treatment for the child. Parents may be worried of having to see their kids go throughout the whole dis-comfortable process. While kids have an, even more, tougher time as they have to go through it first hand. But there may be a new solution for those worried kids - watching cartoons. This may just be the best way to help those poor kids out.

Cartoons are beneficial in this regard because

    • They are inexpensive
    • They are easy to administer
    • They are comprehensive

A study carried out by Dr. Jeongwoo Lee and a team of researchers from the Chonbuk National University Hospital, South Korea found that kids who watched cartoons before being administered with the anesthetic were found to have much lower levels of stress than kids who didn’t watch cartoons.

Dr. Lee has concluded that watching cartoons can help distract kids from their current anxiety state, to that arises just before they are administered with anesthesia to a much more calmer state. While it may not seem of much concern at first, even the tiniest anxiety before surgery can create serious problems as it can cause emotional trauma for both the kids and the parents. Furthermore, something like pre-operative anxiety can even lead to severe behavioral problems, like

    • Separation anxiety
    • Aggressiveness
    • Nightmares

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Watching cartoons can help kids overcome the fear of dental treatments!!

Kids can get pretty stressed up during their dental treatment sessions and for a kid to sit perfectly still when the scary good guy dentist approaches them could only make the whole thing look like a scary movie for kids.

However researchers from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia conducted an experimental study have found that the audiovisual distraction like cartoons can help kids in minimizing the distress and the perception of pain during these procedures. The kids who came in for treatment underwent 3 separate treatment visits – an oral examination, injection with local anesthetic and tooth restoration. Later using an anxiety and behavior scale, the child’s vital signs, blood pressure, and pulse rate were also monitored to check the child’s levels of anxiety. The study was carried out Amal Al-Khotani and a team of researchers from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

It was observed that kids from the cartoon treatment group, displayed less anxiety and more cooperation even during the anesthetic injection. This alone showed that audiovisual distractions could help kids during these slightly painful sessions and a distracted kid would feel much more calm, given this particular cartoon treatment.

Thank spinach munching Popeye for teaching the same!!

Researchers Professor Chutyima Sirikulchayanonta from the Mahidol University in Bangkok initiated a healthy eating program, where the kids had to plant veggie seeds, participate in fruit 7 veggie eating parties, cook veggie soup and finally watch Popeye cartoons. Finally, these kids were made to sit with their teachers at lunch for something called role-model-healthy-eating.

They found that both the vegetable intake and the types of vegetables consumed by the kids doubled as compared to the consumption pattern from before. This alone could help set the track for kids in the future as they would eventually maintain this practice of healthy eating even after reaching adulthood.

The kids started displaying other positive characteristics like -

    • Kids felt more special when they sat next to kids who were eating the same food as them.
    • The food tasting sessions were fun for kids as they were given the chances to taste and compare different fruits and veggies.
    • Kids taking part in food preparation activities like measuring, pouring and stirring helped them better learn the names of colors and foods, and could also help develop their hand & eye coordination.