All children are entitled to play and physical activity in their lives. This also applies to children who are ill. The Child Accident Foundation (Børneulykkesfonden) has started Play Heroes (Legeheltene), whose job is to provide activity and play opportunities for approximately 60,000 children aged 1-14 who are admitted to hospital in Denmark each year.
“We have received a grant from the Vissing Foundation that will ensure that the three Play Heroes can be there for the children at Aalborg University Hospital. The Play Heroes will set up active games and physical activities for hospitalized children for the next year. It makes a big and positive difference for the children and their parents,” says Henriette Madsen, General Secretary from the Child Accident Foundation.
A course of illness, a stay in hospital or chronic diagnoses will often mean a lot of inactivity and loneliness, which over long periods may have serious consequences for the children’s physical, cognitive and social development. The Play Heroes therefore start up games involving physical movement and activities to get the children out of their beds and out of the hospital wards.
The Play Heroes’ job is to create everyday activities and a free space for hospitalized and out-patient children, where their illness takes a back seat, and there is room to let off steam, romp about, find company and make new friends.
All Play Heroes are professionals with qualifications in motor function, physiotherapy or sport. They adapt the physical games to the individual children, keeping in mind that everyone must be able to join in.