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21,900 the number of times you blink in a day, the price of a Rhinestone studded vacuum cleaner on the number of times a child with Type one diabetes gets pricked and injected in their 1st 5 years after diagnosis.
Now, for those of you that don't know, diabetes is an illness where all of the sudden your pancreas stops working and overnight, the lives of Children are transformed.
They have to prick their fingers constantly throughout the day to monitor their blood glucose levels, inject insulin along with every meal and count every single carbohydrate that enters their mouths.
And as you can imagine, it's pretty scary for these kids.
Education and comfort are so incredibly important to set them up for happy and healthy lives.
And while this is all so serious, the solution is less so.
I believe that play has the power to fundamentally change the way that Children learn about their health.
I'd like you to meet Jerry the Bear.
Jerry is a best friend, role model and learning tool who helps kids understand their health.
We first designed Jerry for Children with type one diabetes to help educate them and comfort them.
Jerry's got little electronic sensors all throughout his body that enable Children to care for him and breathe life into what would otherwise be in inanimate stuffed animal.
Now the idea for Jerry actually comes from a really simple insight.
Children with type one diabetes already take care of their stuffed animals as if they have diabetes.
They'll pretend to prick their teddy bears.
Fingers inject them with insulin.
They'll even draw little insulin pumps on pieces of paper and staple it to the fur of their stuffed animals.
Now, what these kids are doing in play terms is their role playing in the same way that a healthy child would role play a tea party.
These kids are acting out all of the things that they're not yet allowed to do to themselves when they're diagnosed between the ages of three and seven and they're using play toe, help them understand the things that they can't yet even vocalized.
So when we observe this behavior, we decided it was about time to bring these stuffed animals toe life and transform their existing play pattern into something that educated something that comforted and ultimately was fun.
Kids take care of Jerry by squeezing his fingers to check his blood glucose level, swiping foods over his mouth to feed him and using his insulin pen to give him injections on the goal is to help Jerry train for the All Star Games, which are kind of like the Olympics.
Kids travel all around Jerry's world, meeting up with friends like Momo the Monkey George, the vegetarian shark, each one teaching them a little something about diabetes but most importantly, empowering them to believe they can do anything.
And that feeling that belief that you can do anything is so incredibly important for any child with the health condition.
I know when I was a child, I was diagnosed with human growth hormone deficiency.
This is me at my elementary school, graduation for two then, and not a whole lot taller when I entered high school.
And what that meant is that I self administer daily injections throughout my childhood to grow on dhe.
For me, this entire experience is really summed up in one moment.
After a particularly painful injection, I remember running out of the bathroom and grabbing a calculator, starting to punch in numbers.
Two minutes of pain per injection.
One injection per day, 365 days per year.
Five years, 3650 minutes of pain.
Even then, I was an engineer and angry and teary eyed.
I showed this to my parents, and in that moment I felt so entirely helpless.
And that feeling is something I hope no child ever has to experience.
So in 2009 when our team responded to an online design competition to create something to improve the lives of Children with Type one diabetes, believe you, me?
I felt right at home talking to these kids about their insulin injections.
And since then, in just six years, 4% of Children now have a bear.
And for our entire team, it's so incredibly fulfilling.
We have kids who are getting over their fear of insulin injections, learning how to count their carbohydrates but most importantly, gaining the confidence to talk about their diabetes on On a personal level, that feeling of confidence is what I wish I had when I was a child on what really sets Jerry apart.
What I think makes him pretty special is this emotional connection that Children form with their bears.
You see, when Jerry enters the home, kids don't refer to him as a toy.
Rather a new sibling.
He comes to school with kids, a placemat set for him at the dinner table, on their cuddling with him at night on.
While you might not care too much if your toy isn't played with for too long, what happens if your new little sibling isn't feeling well?
This emotional connection drives Children to care for Jerry in an entirely new way.
They feed him food when he's hyperglycemia because they're actually concerned that he's ill.
And this creates a sense of responsibility and unlock something pretty unique.
Children develop a sense of empathy not only for their bears but further parents.
They begin to realize that the constant finger pricks, injection sticks, pokes.
They're not signs of hate but signs of love.
My parents care for me, just like I care for Jerry, and this is really what changes the perception around diabetes in the home.
It elevates Children to the same level as their parents to the level of caretaker on all of the sudden, they start asking questions.
How many carbohydrates?
Aaron, my meal.
How many units of insulin are you giving may and the stressful moments of finger pricks and injections?
They turn into conversations and not just conversations but playtime.
And that's the rial power of play.
For these Children, Play has helped transform a scary illness into something that can actually bring giggles and smiles to kids.
In fact, I distinctly remember a phone call where one of our parents shared that.
After playing with Jerry there, son started to refer to his diabetes as a superpower.
I think that's pretty cool.
So we're making great progress in the world of Type one diabetes, but and it's a step in the right direction, but it really only represents a snowflake on top of a pile of snow on the tip of an iceberg.
We live in the first time in human history when the mortality rates from chronic conditions exceed those of infectious disease.
I mean, we beat the plague on Lee to become our own worst enemies.
I'm talking about things like type two diabetes, obesity conditions that we bring on ourselves by our own lifestyle, and in my eyes, the real problem here is health literacy.
In 2003 the CDC did a study, and they found that only 12% of the population was considered to be proficient in health literacy.
So how did we do anything about our chronic condition issues?
If only 12% of the population has the ability to read, understand and act on basic health care information?
So what are we doing?
Well, we currently address chronic conditions once they've already occurred when people are in their thirties, forties and fifties by trying to change the lifestyles that they've built for their entire lives.
And they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks and really, whether it's true or not, why don't we try to address these issues sooner, Say, in childhood?
Well, the naysayers out there, they'll tell you we just don't have the data.
It's so hard to justify the efficacy of early childhood interventions.
And perhaps that's true.
But what we do have our role models.
Do you remember Sesame Street started in the seventies to address issues of literacy and school readiness.
In a few short years, they had an audience equal to a Super Bowl sized group of kids tuning in every single day and recently some economists got together to analyze what were the educational impacts of watching Sesame Street.
It turns out kids who watch Sesame Street are 14% less likely to be behind in school.
They have GPS that air 16% higher than their peers they have in Peru vocabularies.
The list goes on on what it points to is a fantastic example of how early interventions in childhood education can have a massive impact.
I believe we need to begin addressing issues of health literacy in very much the same way.
I think that we need to look towards our kids and do everything in our power to set them up for happy and healthy lives.
And I think that the solution this play, it's creating fun ways for Children to engage with, to understand and to communicate their health on.
While it might not be a silver bullet, play is an untapped resource for our health care system.
So for a moment I'd like to invite you into Jerry's world, where our toys are a little bit smarter and where they leverage their inherent power to impart meaningful lessons about health through good old fashioned playtime.


Can a teddybear change how children relate to their own disease? | Aaron Horowitz | TED Institute

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林宜悉 2020 年 3 月 21 日 に公開
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