GusGear Logo
June 19, 2024

Empowering Kids with Medical Complexities: The Importance of Choice

Every child deserves a voice, even in the smallest decisions. For kids with medically complex conditions, these choices can make a world of difference. It's not just about picking between different colors of a Central Line Vest or the LOCK 3000 — although that can be a powerful place to start; it's about giving them autonomy and a sense of control over their lives at a time when it feels excessively chaotic and simply unfair. 

The Power of Small Choices

Being in a situation where most aspects of your life are dictated by schedules, medical routines, and procedures is challenging for anyone. For children with complex medical conditions, this is their reality. These children often face daily interventions that can be uncomfortable, painful, or otherwise traumatic. However, introducing small choices into their routines can profoundly impact their emotional well-being.

Take, for example, the simple act of deciding when to have their dressing changed. As one of our Gus Gear parents explains, "Choice is a huge thing for them. His dressing changes, for instance; he knows they’re non-negotiable, but do you want them now or at a different time within the same day when it’s due obviously." By allowing the child to choose the timing of an inevitable procedure, they regain a sense of control over their lives.

Emotional Benefits of Choice

The benefits of providing choices extend beyond preference. It’s about empowering young patients in an environment where they often feel powerless. Whether it's deciding which gown to wear or selecting a favorite stuffed animal to bring to the operating room, these choices give children a semblance of control. This can reduce anxiety and improve their overall experience.

Practical Implementation

Empowering children with choices doesn't require significant changes or resources. It's about integrating options into their daily care routines. For instance, our Central Line Vest and the LOCK 3000 come in various colors. Letting children choose their favorite color can make wearing medical gear a bit more enjoyable. It's a small gesture that acknowledges their preferences and individuality.

Additionally, giving children the option to select a toy or comfort item (e.g., Medical Minis!) to accompany them during medical procedures can provide emotional support. It’s these little things that help them feel more in control and less like passive participants in their care.

Gus Gear Believes in Choice

Empowering children with choices is about more than just making them feel better in the moment. It's about respecting their voice and fostering resilience, helping them navigate their medical journeys with a sense of dignity and autonomy. Because every child deserves that — a chance to feel heard and to have a say, even in the smallest decisions.

Discover additional resources from the World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics.

cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram Skip to content