In celebration of the UN’s first International Day of Play on June 11th, Children in Hospital Ireland is highlighting the power of play in a child’s hospital journey and calling for more resources to support play in hospital.  

“Play is a powerful tool in a child’s hospital journey” said Anna Gunning, CEO of Children in Hospital Ireland. “It can create a sense of fun, normality and distraction during what can be a very scary and distressing time. A growing body of research suggests play can help reduce the fear, anxiety and trauma which can be associated with hospital procedures and helps children and young people build the skills to cope with their illness better.” 

Anna Gunning continued “We welcome the UN’s recognition of the benefits of play and call on the Irish government to make the same recognition. We need more resources and funding to adequately support play specialists and provide sufficient play materials to ensure every child has the opportunity to play in hospital.”   

The Government has committed to developing a National Play Policy in 2025 which will replace the 2004 National Play Policy ‘Ready Steady Play’. CIH are advocating to ensure that the provision of play in hospital is recognised in this policy and will be appropriately resourced.