Next time your kid has a pesky wart to remove, it could be everybody’s favorite big purple dinosaur who assists with the procedure. A new study indicates that children are less angsty when having their warts removed if they’ve first watched their favorite movie or TV show just before going under the knife.
Reuters Health has the full scoop:
Studies have suggested distracting anxious kids with toys, books and handheld video games can help them get through medical procedures. Tey’s team wanted to see if a TV show or movie could be a useful alternative.
With handheld devices like iPads and tablets so widely available, this is something parents can now do themselves, Tey said.
The researchers watched as 35 kids, aged 2 to 6, went through the torturous wart removing procedure. Some kids, however, were shown Kung Fu Panda and “Barney” ahead of time, while others had to just sit around and wait for the wart freezing festivities to begin.
According to the findings, published in the Archives of Dermatology, all 15 children without video access were described as “highly anxious” before their treatment, based on their scores on an anxiety rating scale. In comparison, five out of the 13 kids who watched videos were described as highly anxious.
The researchers also found it took slightly less time to complete the wart-removal treatment when kids were distracted by the video: about 12 minutes, compared to 15 minutes in kids without a video. But that difference could have been due to chance.
Take home message for parents of warty children: even if a doctor’s office isn’t equipped with televisions or other distracting, glee-inducing materials, go ahead and bring a cartoon-equipped iPad along. It might just save you having to wrestle and hold down a screaming child, an experience that’s bad news for all parties’ psychological well-being.
More from Smithsonian.com: