'Clown docs' help comfort sick kids
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Caring for sick children is serious business, but a dose of silliness and humor can go a long way, too.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that three days a week, five clowns dress in white coats and visit kids in the cancer, inpatient and outpatient units at St. Louis Children's Hospital. For 16 years, the clown docs have been performing magic tricks, sharing silly jokes and helping kids take a mental break for their troubles.
Jane Abendschein, also known as Dr. Tickles, says she and other clown docs wear white coats with their makeup and wigs. When the real doctors show up, the children aren't automatically afraid.
Doctors understand that humor can relieve tension and stress, and jokes can create common ground.