Research has determined that using Virtual Reality (VR) goggles can cause behavioral changes, balance issues, cognitive problems, eye problems (soreness, vision changes), headaches, rashes, and other discomforts (see 1, 2). In fact, because they are smaller and still developing, children absorb 2-5 times more harmful radiation than adults while using VR! Despite all of this, tech companies and their proponents continue to market VR technology for children’s use – now especially during unpleasant medical procedures like being vaccinated.
From The Denver Channel:
Virtual reality technology helping kids with extreme needle anxiety
CHICAGO, Ill. — As the vaccine rollout for kids ages 5 to 11 begins to roll out, some parents may be confronted with children who might want to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office. An estimated 63% of children are afraid of needles, but technology is aiding families in reducing that fear and anxiety.
Like most 8-year-old kids, Molly Chandler dreads getting a shot at the doctor’s office.
“I just don’t like them. They hurt,” she said.
But for the third-grader, the fear of needles is actually debilitating.
“Any time she had to get vaccinations, we struggled,” said Molly’s mother Jeanne Chandler. “A quick three-second prick, but it took her like 30 minutes to recover from it. And it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is intense.’”
But scientists are testing out a new piece of virtual reality technology that could help.
“These particular sets of goggles have a program in them that is specifically designed to have the experience match up with a child, getting a shot or poke an injection,” said Shira Miller, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Manager at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Using the VR goggles, 7-year-old Meechie Jeans, who is battling leukemia, was transported to a virtual sea adventure. It allowed his nurses to access his needle port while distracting him from any pain or anxiety.