Children's hospitals use Pokémon Go as coping mechanism

Some medical centers are using Pokémon Go to help children who are in for long-term care get a break from their treatment.

You have probably heard about the many fans who are on the hunt for Pokémon. You can find the pocket monsters just about anywhere.

Now medical centers are using the game to help children who spend extended time in the hospital, escape the serious everyday nature of their long-term care.

"I've actually been here since I was a month old. I've been in and out," said Brianna Boyd a long-term patient at the hospital. "When the game launched, I had major surgery. It was actually my first time up walking from my surgery. I'm in pain. I'm miserable. Of course, I’m 19, I have my phone with me. I’m on my phone, and there's a Pokémon that popped up and I was like, oh my God, I have to catch this Pokémon."

Children’s hospitals across the country have been putting out lures to attract Pokémon to their children's centers. They help attract more variety and excitement for the recovering kids to explore, and hopefully give those in need a chance to catch their share along the way and maybe catch a smile.

"It's allowing them to feel like they're more normal, hanging with their friends, doing their everyday activity, especially for those patients who will be with us for a period of time. It's a great coping mechanism for them," said Nancy Stanley, the Nurse Manager at Bloomberg Children's Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The hospital already has two Poke-stop, even a gym where players can battle.

The lures that they and passersby put down are clearly working. Everywhere we seemed to look, there’s more to catch.

"Playing it your whole life, growing up you never really like caught a Pokémon. You played your games, but you never actually threw a ball and caught a Pokémon. We’re stuck in the hospital, yet we're connected to the outside world,” said Boyd.

And at the least, it's a distraction.

Copyright 2016 KING


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