Entries in Children's Hospital (3)


Window Washers Give Children's Hospital Patients a Superhero's Surprise

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- Being sick in a hospital can be scary, especially when you're young and have an imagination that tends to run wild.

So imagine being in bed and dreaming of your favorite superheroes who fly up to your hospital room's window to keep you safe.

Now imagine waking up from the dream only to find a real-life Spiderman and Captain America at your real-life window outside your real-life hospital room.

That's exactly what happened to the young patients at the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., thanks to the ingenious, and generous, idea of the men who have been washing the 255-bed hospital's windows for years.

"The kids always come up to the window and ask us, 'Are you Spiderman?'" Steve Oszaniec, a 23-year employee of the Chicago-based American National Skyline window cleaning company, told ABC News Wednesday. "So I came up with the idea of, 'Why don't we just show up as Spiderman?'"

With the plan hatched, Oszaniec, son Danny Oszaniec and their colleague, Jordan Emerson, pitched the idea to their boss, Sean Conley, in the company's Memphis office and to hospital administrators, who all quickly said yes.

The trio then purchased their costumes -- two Spiderman suits and one Captain America -- and on Oct. 17 turned the hospital into a scene straight out of a comic book.

"We just went there, put them on and went up," Oszaniec said. "They [hospital staff] brought a lot of the kids to the little family room there so they could see us. It was unbelievable. They just totally forgot they were sick for a minute. They were just ecstatic about it."

Oszaniec, who describes himself in real-life as "more Captain Old Country than Captain America," says the dressed-up superheroes also shot silly string as they repelled up and down the 12-story hospital building for four hours to make their Spiderman takeover even more life-like.

Hospital administrators say what Oszaniec and his colleagues did was, all jokes aside, truly heroic.

"It's a real thing," hospital spokeswoman Sara Burnett said of the use of out-of-the-box therapies like this one to help kids heal. "When a child's mind gets off their pain and their sickness, it makes them heal, it makes them relax and it helps them recover and get better quicker."

The hospital, which treats about 250,000 kids from all across the country with all different ailments every year, has its own Child Life Department to coordinate fun activities for kids and says the window washers-as-superheroes will be welcomed back.

"Based on the success, I'm sure we'll look into doing it again," Burnett said. "I've already had a request for Batman."

As for Oszaniec and his crew, they too say they would love to make a super-heroic return to the hospital, but today they'll go back to normal. They are still surely superheroes in the kids' imaginations.

"We're going back this afternoon as mild-mannered window cleaners," Oszaniec said.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


TV Ads Influence Underage Drinking and Obesity in Youth, Studies Say 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two new studies found that kids who recognize fast-food advertisements on TV are more likely to be overweight and kids who are familiar with TV ads for alcoholic beverages are more likely to drink, Health Day reports.

The studies were conducted at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The alcohol study involved 2,500 young people aged 15 to 20 years old, and the fast-food study involved 3,300 young people aged 15 to 23.

Researchers found that 59 percent of the kids drank and 49 percent had engaged in binge drinking at least one time over the past year. They also learned that the drinkers were much more familiar with alcohol ads on TV, and that owning alcohol-branded merchandise or having a favorite alcohol ad was connected to more dangerous drinking, according to Health Day.

Researchers in the second study found that 18 percent of the young people were overweight and 15 percent were obese. They learned that the percentage of obese young people was significantly higher among those who recognized more fast-food ads than those who just recognized a few, and that those who recognized a lot of ads were twice as likely to be obsese than those who knew just a few of them, Health Day says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Washington Department of Health Investigating Child Deaths Due to Overdosing

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- The Washington State Department of Health says it is looking into a second child death involving Seattle Children's Hospital.  The news comes just days after Children's announced a Sept. 15 overdose that killed an 8-month-old girl.

There are reports that a third child also became ill following an overdose, but the Washington State Department of Health says it is not involved in that investigation. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio