A serious illness, a chronic medical condition or a hospital bed should not deny any child her/his basic right to play, a right essential for children’s development and general wellbeing. In fact, it is in these frightening and anxious moments that play and the stimulus that it provides can help the most. This article will focus on the impacts and benefits of professional hospital clowning for the wellbeing and recovery process of ill and hospitalized children. Our experience has shown that through interactive play and humor, “clowndoctors” can create an enabling and supportive environment that facilitates children’s adaptation to the hospital setting and improves their acceptance of medical procedures and staff. While moving from bedside to bedside, RED NOSES clowndoctors encourage children’s active participation and support their natural instinct to play, fully including them in the interaction, if the children wish to do so. Therefore, clowndoctor performances offer ill children much needed stimulus, self-confidence and courage, elements fundamental to reducing their vulnerability. In this piece, a special emphasis will be put on the various approaches used by RED NOSES clowndoctors to bond and reach out to children suffering from different medical conditions.
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