Rabbit Ray – Helping Kids with Needle Fears

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Esther Wang has a vision. As an entrepreneur, designer and inventor, she has learned first hand what it means to use creative skills to make the world a better place. Esther took up the challenge of “How can we help kids be less afraid of needles?” in Singapore, her native country.  She designed Rabbit Ray, an interactive, virtually unbreakable, washable patient interactive device that empowers even more than it teaches.

Children can play with Rabbit Ray and actual medical materials (Don’t worry, no sharps!), as they learn about their bodies, and how injections, blood draws and IVs work. Prepared children are much less anxious, as they have the opportunity to learn coping skills such as deep breathing and distraction when they play under the gentle guidance of a child life specialist or hospital play specialist. An accompanying book tells the story of the our body’s circulation system, using easily understood metaphors.

 

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I had the pleasure of meeting Esther at this year’s annual Child Life Council conference in Orlando, Florida. Since then, I have purchased her product and have enjoyed interviewing Esther. Here is the short version of her story. The two brief videos delve deeper into her inspiration and passion.

How did you find out about child life and hospital play? 

I found out about Hospital Play after listening and volunteering in a few Singapore hospitals. During my university days, I started teaching children art and found my empathy and passion for kids.  To understand how I came up the idea for the Rabbit Ray, you may refer to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-YJIpKT8gw

Have you ever been on the hospital as a child or know someone who has been? What did you learn?

No, I’ve not been to the hospital. I’m driven by my desire to meet a need in society through my skills.

What did you learn from the process of this invention?
Bringing the invention to reality is tough. It is hard because it is a new field – and being a pioneer, there is the added task of advocating on the importance of child life.My innovation process is captured in this TEDxSingapore talk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaYA1sKobYkIs there child life in Singapore?
Yes, there is. It is a small group, but we are heading in the right direction.
What other adventures do you have up your sleeve for Rabbit Ray?
My team has created new stories in surgery (minor and major), PEG/PEJ, NG tube, PICC Line, Hickman Line, and Stoma Bag. We are getting great feedback and ideas from the child life specialists we met at the conference.

We welcome Esther’s creativity and encourage play specialists and child life specialists to consider adding Rabbit Ray to their repertoire of teaching tools.

 

 

 

 

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