iPad/iPhone Restraint and Sedation in the Emergency Room for Kids

Going to the emergency room is terrible.  It is almost always at an inconvenient time, the wait is always terrible, and oh yeah, you or someone you love is seriously hurt.  When that someone is your own child it is even harder to try and calm them down so that the doctors and nurses can give them the help they need.

In the past doctors were forced to use restraints or even sedatives to be able to perform their work.  But, some doctors have found something even better, and far less dangerous for the child: smartphones and tablets.

Distracting children with a smartphone or tablet is not new to anyone with kids.  Rare is the outing that doesn’t involve my daughter using my phone to entertain herself, and in turn make for a more pleasant evening for every at the venue.  But to think that these same devices would be equally as effective as restraints and drugs just blows me away.

Fierce Mobile Healthcare has a few links to the actual case study as well as blog posts from The University of Chicago, who conducted the study, and Dr. Ryan Radecki, who has found this to be a reality in his emergency room.

Having made multiple trips to the emergency room with my kids I know how hard it is to entertain them throughout the whole process.  It is awesome to know that something as simple as a video or app can be even more effective than harmful drugs.

About the author

David Lynn

David Lynn


  • I find the use of my Ipod touch wit a few childrens Apps , helps keep them breathe calmer diring nebulizer treatments. Now we. eed someone to make a disposable cover for in between patients.

  • I wrote an app to keep my son engaged/distracted, never intending it for this healthcare application but a relative who was in the emergency room called to tell me that she had seen a child calmly using it. The app is called BabyAnimal Balloons. check it out at littlelaptime.com if you are interested.

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