Date: 1/8/2008

Children at Community Hospital are given surgical caps just like their doctors and nurses wear

MUNSTER — To help children relax before surgery at Community Hospital, they are given little handmade surgical caps, so they can dress up like their doctors and nurses.

Cancer survivors from the Cancer Resource Centre’s “Knit One…Nurture, Too” group began creating the cotton caps last summer, and the project has grown to involve volunteers from the community and area churches. The caps are the same as real surgical caps, but of course are smaller, and are made of colorful children’s prints for pediatric patients.

“The kids really love the caps,” said Marcia Collins, R.N. “The hats are just wonderful. They help change children’s attitudes, especially in the stressful situation of waiting for surgery.”

The pediatric patients take the caps home with them after their surgery. “Parents think the caps are cute,” added Collins, who manages the surgical holding room. The children pick-out the caps they want which range in design from Nemo to soccer balls.

To continue creating the caps, donations of 100 percent cotton cloth in children’s prints and one-quarter inch elastic are being accepted by the Cancer Resource Centre, 900 Ridge Road, Suite J, Munster, IN 46321. Phone: (219) 836-3349.

The program is modeled after the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s Sew Angelic program which has distributed 10,000 caps.