No tears, only smiles
Monday June 16 2008 16:45 IST Manu Vipin EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE KOCHI
‘PLEASE remove your footwear, kids at play’ is what catches your attention the moment you step into All For Kids. It’s not a playschool or a kindergarten, but a paediatric clinic which was opened recently in Tripunithura. It’s a cheery place where kids can play, read stories and have fun apart from meeting the doctor.
Dr Joys Clinic at Toll Junction, Edappally, is a haven for kids. They have designed the interiors such a way that kids feel at home with lots of books and stuff. They can even watch a movie at the clinic and after the check-up each kid can return home not only with a beautiful smile but also with gift packs and other goodies.
Paediatricians are going that extra mile to ensure that a child is not scared while meeting the doctor. “Diya was once scared of hospital visits, but not any more. The colourfully done walls, toys and books make her visits happy experience,” says her mother.
And that is exactly what Dr M Vijayalakshmi had in mind while setting up All For Kids- to make kids comfortable at the clinic. Dr Joy Kurien, professor in paediatric dentistry, also voices the same views.
“We want children to feel secure and comfortable in our clinic,” says Dr Joy. Dr Vijayalakshmi wanted to bring the American kind of care to the Indian experience.
“Kids don’t like to see just white coats. They like to see some colour on the walls,” believes the doctor who did her MBBS from Coimbatore Medical College and MD in Paediatrics from BJ Medical College, Pune, before moving to the United States where she did her MD in Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
She has ensured that even the nursing staff are not in white but in blue coats. The walls have been given a soothing green colour with Disney characters drawn on them. At All For Kids the waiting room has a corner dedicated as a play area complete with a tent, small chairs and a table. Even the equipment used by the doctor like nebuliser and BP apparatus has pictures of teddy bears on it.
“In fact Diya had come for a wellness check-up and I could talk to her parents for half an hour while Diya played happily,” says Dr Vijayalakshmi. The functioning of these clinics is also different. It is appointment-based care and hence parents need not wait for a long time with a sick child.
“When there is a sick child others are at risk,” reasons Dr Vijayalakshmi. The other highlights are personal follow up by the doctor, vaccination reminders and electronic medical records with full patient history.
“So the parents need not remember what medicines the child took previously,” says Dr Vijayalakshmi whose focus is on preventive care based on a strong partnership between the parents and the doctor through patient education and patient participation.
‘Raise a healthy child’ is their aim and they are putting a lot of stress on preventive care. Dr Joy had organised a wellness dental check-up for kids till June 15. “Before school reopens it is better to have a dental check-up done,” he says.
According to Dr Vijayalakshmi, before the school reopens parents should revaluate their kids’ health. “That should be the future of paediatric care. When it comes to wellness check-ups and food habits parents are not taking much care. Elders go for annual check-ups. Parents should start taking children for annual check ups to ensure that they are growing healthy,” she says.
The squeezies and stuffed dolls along with their child-friendly approach have removed the stuffiness usually associated with these places. For parents who struggled to keep grumpy children entertained during the wait to see a doctor, these clinics are a great relief. Dr Vijayalakshmi can be contacted at 6452772. For dental check up, call 3245753.