New sensory tool helps children feel safe during hospital stays


HARRISBURG, Pa. (NewsNation Now) — A hospital stay can be scary for many children, especially those with special needs such as autism. Now, there’s a brand new sensory tool designed to help keep kids calm.

NewsNation spoke with Sandy Schreffler, the lead child life specialist at a hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She’s having great success with this new sensory station.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

UPMC Children’s Harrisburg inpatient pediatric unit received the Vecta Deluxe Mobile Sensory Station last month, NewsNation affiliate WHTM-TV reported.

“So the Vecta has a bubble tube, which you can see the balls and the beads going up into the column. You can change the speed of how fast they rise,” said Sandy Schreffler, lead Child Life Specialist.

You can even change the colors. The sensory station is designed to help calm kids with special needs or any child who’s anxious in a hospital.

“Anecdotal evidence of kids’ heart rates decreasing when they have this sensory station utilized,” Schreffler said.

It covers all the senses, except taste.

NewsNation reporter Michella Drapac contributed to this report.

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