Bringing Smiles with Silly Earrings

Inspired to introduce some lighter moments during the COVID-19 pandemic, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist began a tradition of “Fun Earring Friday” with her bold and funny accessories.

On a Friday morning early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Nicole Kucine, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital, decided to do something special to make the children, families, and staff at her outpatient clinic smile. “We used to have communal games and arts and crafts projects, but families had to be isolated because of the pandemic and our staff was in high stress mode,” she says. “I saw an advertisement for a store that sold silly earrings, and I thought it would be a fun way to lift people’s spirits.”

Dr. Kucine’s first pair were cookies and milk earrings. The next Friday, she wore rainbows. She got such a positive response from the kids and parents that she kept it going — and that was the beginning of Fun Earring Friday.

Now Dr. Kucine has a collection of more than 100 different pairs. Almost every Friday, she wears a new style and posts photos with the hashtag, #FunEarringFriday. While it’s hard to choose her favorite earrings, the giant bananas and box of crayons are a few standouts. “The disco balls even inspire some impromptu dancing,” she says.

For Dr. Kucine, the earrings help form a connection with her young patients when they need it the most. “Going to the doctor can be scary, especially for little kids,” she says. “I always make sure to remember that kids are people, and it’s okay to be silly with them. Sometimes that means examining their stuffed animals, sometimes that means talking about their favorite bands, and sometimes that means wearing giant, pink-frosted donut earrings to make them laugh.”

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