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Children's hospital videos hit one million YouTube views

Marit Boot's clips help children and parents who are anxious about their visit.

By STV News

Published 10 Aug 2017.

An Edinburgh mother's videos to help children who are anxious about hospital visits have passed more than a million views on YouTube.

Marit Boot set up a charity which produces videos which explain what happens when children undergo various hospital tests.

She started her YouTube page two years ago after she became anxious when her daughter Susan had to attend hospital for a scan when she was five.

Dr Boot could not find enough information online about what the MRI and EEG scans would involve so decided to help other parents.

She said: "The scans came back all clear but as a parent you're really worried.

"You search on the internet and read things about brain tumours. It's very scary, you're so worried about your child's health.

"I didn't know what to tell her, trying to explain to a five-year-old what an MRI is impossible."

Dr Boot added: "I realised I needed to show my daughter in a positive way what was going to happen otherwise she would struggle to complete the procedure and could develop a fear of hospitals.

"We played pretend hospital with a teddy bear, cardboard box, strings and stickers, and this helped us both to prepare for hospital.

"I was very proud of her as she did really well in hospital."

The charity's YouTube page, called What? Why? Children in Hospital, has published 32 professionally produced videos.

Dr Boot left her job as a manager in the NHS to run the charity full time and this week her videos passed the milestone of one million views.

Her daughter, now ten, stars in some of the videos as do her friends and the children of some medical professionals.

One video, What happens when my child has an ECG?, has more than 621,000 views.

The charity says doctors around the UK recommend its videos for children.

Dr Iain Horrocks, a consultant paediatric neurologist at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, said the videos would help prepare children for the tests.

He said: "These videos are a fantastic resource for families and children to have access to; it will be invaluable in preparation for the kinds of tests that we need to do."

Sharyn Brown, whose son Ruari attends the hospital in Glasgow, said the videos helped her.

She said: "I really value the videos - my son has autistic tendencies and required to have an exercise tolerance test in October - we didn't know what to expect and couldn't prepare him.

"He became more and more anxious with every bit of equipment that was placed on him and totally freaked when they tried to put the blood pressure cuff on him, refusing to do the test.

"With the help of the video we were finally able to get the test done this Friday."

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