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New Tool Makes Emergency Room Trip Easier For Kids

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- There are some strange lights, bubbles and a humming noise coming from the  Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children Emergency Room these days, but all of the distraction is a very good thing for young patients.

This year the hospital started using the Vecta Mobile Sensory Station. The machine was purchased through a grant and has been used to help hundreds of kids relax.

On its surface, the portable sensory machine seems to operate simply enough, but the impact it has on the individuals who attend the pediatric ER is staggering, nurses say.

"It is amazing how well it works to calm kids down and allows us to help them easier and make the entire process less stressful," therapist Caitlin Titzer says.

Through a variety of elements, the new, mobile machine is able to engage them and help stimulate their senses, she says.

The station offers a soothing fiber-optic color display, calming bubble columns,  vibrations, a mirror, music and a projector to display moving images onto a wall — all activities that awaken three very important senses: sight, touch and hearing.

As the machine operates, a range of changing colors fill the room — blue, orange, yellow, green, pink and red — while the movement in the bubble columns provide a calming, relaxing ease.

Clients can touch the colorful fiber-optic strands that emit a vibration, which allows for muscle relaxation.