June 11, 2018

New ‘Feel Good Day’ Program Pampers Kids in Hospital

A new program for children in hospital in Saskatchewan is helping young patients feel like a million bucks, even while taking on lengthy hospital stays.

Since Children’s Feel Good Day launched in February, kids in Acute Care Pediatrics in Saskatoon experience a once-a-week afternoon of indulgence and attention. Hair-dos, nail manicures, temporary tattoos, shampoo and style treatments, and more are brought directly to the hospital room, helping sick or injured kids and teens feel revived while in recovery mode. It has been a refreshing addition for families who otherwise might associate a hospital stay with discomfort and fear.

“In an environment where kids feel unwell, it’s hard to feel good about one’s self at times. This one-on-one time really makes each child feel special and cared for in a non-medical way,” says Tammy Lucas, Manager of Acute Care Pediatrics. “It improves mood and self-confidence and helps kids cope with their hospitalization better.”

Hairstylist Fawn Krewishen was the driving force behind bringing Children’s Feel Good Day to kids in hospital. As a child, Krewishen, spent time in hospital and knows how much a little pampering can brighten a child’s experience. She pitched the idea to hospital staff and, with the help of funding for supplies from Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation, Children’s Feel Good Day was born.

Fawn Krewishen, stylist and founder of ‘Children’s Feel Good Day’

“It is important to offer this program to kids because time spent in hospital is never a fun experience for anyone, let alone a child,” explains Krewishan. “These kids are dealing with things that no child should ever have to face. This program offers each child an opportunity to get out of their room, or in some cases, have someone come to their room if they are not well enough to leave, and make them feel a bit better physically.”

Krewishen arrives every Monday afternoon equipped with salon materials and other styling accessories to get the job done. Young hospital patients get to choose from a ‘menu’ of choices for services including mini manicures and nail stickers, which seem to be the most popular.

Unable to attend her grade 8 grad because of a hospital stay, Brooke-Lynn gets her hair done through the Children’s Feel Good Day program to celebrate anyway.

“After they participate in Feel Good Day, the kids have the biggest smiles on their faces and are showing off their hair, nails, etc. to everyone around,” says Kelsey Luedtke, Recreation Therapist. “I can tell that they feel special after being pampered, which is incredible to see while they are here receiving treatment.”

For one family, an afternoon with Krewishen was a taste of regular life outside hospital. Eight-year-old Aleina was in hospital for two weeks, but completely lit up when she learned about the program. She spent a full hour receiving uplifting treatments from Krewishen.

“Aleina had temporary hair colour put in, which left her with a prolonged sense of enjoyment every time she caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror or window,” says Aleina’s mom Kimberley. “This program, and programs like this, are a fundamental stepping stone in the process of healing the body by keeping the mind healthy as well!”

“Children’s Feel Good Day gives kids the opportunity to escape from reality and become more relaxed, even during one of the most stressful times of their lives,” says Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Fawn has done a wonderful thing, helping reduce the fear many kids have about receiving medical care. We are thankful for people like her who offer their services and we’re grateful to our donors who help fund this program, all to help make the hospital a less scary place for our children.”

The Children’s Feel Good Day program will be part of the Child Life Zone in Saskatchewan’s new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, set to open next year. The 2,800 square foot space will be a place where pediatric patients and their families can play, learn, laugh and relax. It was created in partnership with country music legend Garth Brooks and his Teammates for Kids Foundation, The Mosaic Company, and Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.

To support this program please donate to the Acute Care Pediatrics designated fund at pattisonchildrens.ca.

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