BAND-AID Magic

As acknowledged in the promotional video for the Muppets app in the last section, children see bandages as a cure for cuts and a cure-all for many other ailments. This “magic” healing is due in part to the placebo effect. Stemming from the Latin placēbō, or “I shall please,” placebos have no therapeutic properties in and of themselves. The placebo effect is the psychological phenomenon that occurs when a person feels better or is healed because they believe what they think is a medicine or treatment (a placebo) will make them feel better or heal them.

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Lollipops have “proven” healing powers as well. (photo: author)

 

For young children (between 3-6 years old), the magic of band-aids is tied to their developing understanding of how the biological world and their bodies function. When a child experiences the pain of a boo-boo, a caregiver responds by covering the wound with a bandage. For most children,this ceremony of band-aid application is often repeated. The comfort provided by the caregiver paired with the illusion that the wound “disappears” under a bandage cements the idea that bandages are a cure. Since children lack the sophistication to differentiate the different causes and origins of pain (including emotional and internal), it makes sense to them that the cure for one pain (a cut) would work for other boo-boos (a stomach ache or a bruise).

BAND-AID magic is real and it works because children believe it does.

 

 

 

 

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