Tablets...Sedatives for Stressed Out Kids?

Visit the waiting room of a doctor's office, dentist's office or any other place where kids are asked to wait and you'll see parents hand them a tablet to keep them calm and occupied.  Tablets seem to be the new sedative for children when they are in stressful situations.

According to a new study, giving children an iPad definitely has a calming effect.  In fact, for children about to undergo surgery, an iPad was as effective as giving them a sedative.

Researchers compared the effect of using an iPad to taking a sedative called midazolam on children's anxiety before anesthesia and surgery.  The kids, who were between the ages of 4 and 10, were randomly assigned to either take the sedative or play with an iPad—they could play games like Angry Birds and Monster Dash—20 minutes before they were given anesthesia

The researchers measured the children’s anxiety at several different points throughout the day of surgery, including arrival at the hospital and when they were separated from their parents.  The researchers also measured the parents’ satisfaction with the child’s procedure.  They found that parent and child’s anxiety levels were similar between both groups, and parents were more satisfied with the experience when their child was given an iPad.

Looks like electronic tablets may be more effective than medicine tablets when it comes to helping kids relax during stressful situations.  Interesting.