A research study has finally provided an answer to what many parents all over the world have discovered all on their own: iPads calm kids down.
A recent research study by a group of anesthesiologists from France, who spoke recently at the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists in Hong Kong, shows that an iPad is as useful a tool at calming kids down before surgery as a standard sedative. Specifically, the findings show that a kid using an iPad noticeably reduces anxiety levels before surgery, and that it was every bit as effective as the sedative midazolam.
“Our study showed that child and parental anxiety before anaesthesia are equally blunted by midazolam or use of the iPad. However, the quality of induction of anaesthesia, as well as parental satisfaction, were judged better in the iPad group. Use of iPads or other tablet devices is a non-pharmacologic tool which can reduce perioperative stress without any sedative effect in paediatric ambulatory surgery.”
A separate report from Quartz outlines that the French research study shows that they focused on anxiety levels of kids, and were compared to those given midazolam and those using iPads:
“Comparing the effects of the drug midazolam on 54 children, administered orally or rectally, with 58 others who played age-appropriate games on an iPad 20 minutes prior to anaesthesia, the researchers found that both the drug and the tablet equally blunted anxiety.”
Still, while parents have probably figured this out at one point or another (and smartphones would probably work the same), it’s an interesting result to see how it compares to an actual sedative.