At the hospital, volunteers lend their arms to comfort the sick babies

Health 7 January, 2018


Published the 07.01.2018 at 18h04


Keywords :

hôpitalenfants maladesbénévolat

Professions related to early childhood education are numerous : nurse, paediatrician, nursery nurse… But there is a much less known, although it encounters more and more successful : “câlineur” baby. Designed by the association hand in Hand, the concept is to offer adults devote a part of their free time to comfort a volunteer for sick children in hospitals.

Founded in 1987 and recognized as a public utility in 1999, the association is committed to improving the quality of life of the child to the hospital, from birth until the age of 20 years. To this day, it has more than 600 volunteers “câlineurs'” in the paris region. The volunteers visit the hospital during their free time to bring love and comfort to hospitalized babies when their parents can’t visit the site or that the staff of the health care team is overwhelmed.

If the initiative has enough to move, it is actually vital for the baby. As explained by the head of service general paediatrics, at the Hospital NeckerVéronique Abadi at the microphone of France Inter : “hugs can be a powerful sedative against the pain. “The infant passes from a situation of discomfort to a situation of comfort and it is a problem purely physical. He goes from ‘I’m alone, it’s cold, nobody touches me’ to ‘I coax, there is movement, there is smell, there is a voice, there’s a rhythm “.

The parents leave their children “in good hands”

The experience proves to be beneficial from the point of view of all, as well as for their parents, relieved to be able to be absent, leaving their children in “good hands”, but also for the hospital staff, which considers these volunteers as members of the team as a whole. “For us it is an important contribution because suddenly the children are quiet, children are easier to enjoy on the medical plan, children will be better “, explained Véronique Abadi.

The volunteers, who are mainly women, out of respect to them often growing up, as evidenced by these two testimonials posted on the website of the association :

I have spent over six years in the ENT department of Necker, and this experience will remain forever etched in my memory as one of the most rewarding of my life. This rendez-vous Saturday morning was a bubble in which I was surprised to find the joy where I thought I was finding the pain”. Yasmine, a volunteer-based internship.

I am a volunteer at Necker and my experience with children goes beyond what I could imagine. They are so spontaneous and know how to grasp things with both of posting some times. I often warm appreciation of children and parents, and my answer is always the same : I get as much as I give to you.” Karima.

To join the association and become câlineur, potential volunteers must meet certain criteria : having more than 20 years, be in good health and be willing to commit for a period of one year minimum. On the spot, the hygiene rules are very strict. The volunteers wear a mask before entering each room. When they enter the room, they must wash their hands with an alcohol-based solution, and then put on a blouse that they will not remove not until you get out of the hospital room.

If you want to become a volunteer or support the project, visit the website Hand-in the