I hate clowns. I despise clowns. They’re frightening.
Glad to know 6-year olds agree with me…
Clowns are too scary for kids in hospital and are not the best decoration for children’s wards, according to new research.
A survey found that decorating wards with images of clowns was more likely to frighten young patients than cheer them up.
More than 250 children aged between four and 16 were asked for their opinions – and every single one said they disliked clowns as part of hospital decor.
Even some of the older children said they found clowns scary, Nursing Standard magazine reported.
The youngsters were questioned by the University of Sheffield for the Space To Care study aimed at improving hospital design for children.
As adults we make assumptions about what works for children,” said Penny Curtis, a senior lecturer in research at the university.
“We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them frightening and unknowable.”
Children liked colourful spaces and references to contemporary culture, she said, adding that it is important that young people are consulted over the design or change of hospital environments.
Marjorie Gillies, a senior nurse at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, said: “We found that having clowns and decorations everywhere is too much. We have gone back to plain walls with areas decorated appropriately.”
The authors of the study have produced a guide on how to create child-friendly environments.