Principle 12: Play, recreation and education

Principle 12: Play, recreation and education

Every child and young person receiving health care or disability support services should have access to, and opportunities to participate in play, recreation, creative activities and education.

Introduction

The following is one of a group of principles which recognise the particular needs of children and young people receiving health and disability support services. The principles describe what should be provided when your child or young person receives those services. They are based on expert opinion and a considerable body of literature in New Zealand and overseas and they have been developed after wide consultation. See all the principles listed in Principles: what health and disability services should provide for your child or young person.

Play, recreation, creative activities and education

Principle: Every child and young person receiving health care or disability support services should have access to, and opportunities to participate in play, recreation, creative activities and education.

In health care settings, planned activities such as play, creative activities and recreation, provided by appropriately qualified staff, should be a fundamental part of the care and support of your child or young person.

Play is vital for your child or young person. It is familiar and reassuring and helps them interpret the environment in which they live. Play is a means by which your child or young person learns and develops. It may also help them feel less anxious in unfamiliar or potentially stressful situations. It also helps them to express their feelings, understand what is happening and cope with treatment.

Play, recreation and creative activities should aim to develop and maintain skills and interests that are meaningful to your child or young person and are within their capabilities. They should reflect ordinary patterns of life and include the involvement of your family, or other representatives and community groups where appropriate.

In longer-stay settings, access to education, both early childhood education and schooling, is vital to minimise the disruption that can be associated with health care.

For more information, see:

This page last reviewed 25 March 2015.
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