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Study: Keep clowns out of hospitals

UPI News Service, 12/26/2007 

State-funded researchers in Britain recommended that hospitals do away with clown-inspired decor in children's wards because clowns frighten children.

The Space to Care study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, found that all 250 children questioned in a survey of 4-to-16 year olds disliked the use of clown-related images in children's hospital rooms, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The researchers said even the teenagers questioned in the survey labeled the clowns as "scary."

"Given that children and young people do not find hospitals frightening per se -- and only express fear about those spaces associated with needles -- this finding is somewhat ironic," said Dr. Penny Curtis of Sheffield University.

Coulrophobia, or fear of clowns, has been known to cause panic attacks, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and feelings of dread in sufferers, the Telegraph said.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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