Surgery can be frightening at all ages – but one hospital works to reduce the patient's fear in a unique way. Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, California, has two mini-cars for its smallest patients to ride into the operating rooms to help calm their nerves.
The doctors medical center has two cars for its youngest surgical patients: a black Mercedes and a pink Volkswagen Beetle. The center bought the first car, but the other was donated by an employee and her family.
Employees in the center hope the cars reduce children's stress, anxiety and fear before they enter the surgery.
"When the kids find that they can go into the surgery running in a cool little car, they light up, and in most cases their fears melt away," Kimberly Martinez, who came up with the idea, told CBS News on Saturday.
"When the parents see their children, they also lie down," she says. Martinez said.
Martinez said she notice an immediate difference since they have introduced the cars and said she hopes the benefits have lasting consequences.
"It may be traumatizing for a young patient to be stripped from their parents when they are undergoing surgery," she said. "This really helps everyone involved."
According to Martinez, the cars are made especially for children aged 2-7. Both are equipped with stereo, which has a number of pre-loaded music and an MP3 player, as well as working headlights, tail lights and dashboards. They can be operated by the children themselves, or by remote control. The cars are safe – they have work doors, a safety belt and a horn.