Pint-sized patients are driving themselves to operating theatre in a remote-controlled car, helping to make surgery less scary. The miniature ambulance gifted to the Joan Kirner Women and Children's at Sunshine Hospital provides families with a welcome distraction at tense time. The ambulance, which features lights and sirens and a walkie talkie, was donated to the hospital by a generous Werribee-based business, Smile and Ride Australia. "The children ride in the car on the last leg of the journey from the holding bay to the operating theatre," Nurse Unit Manager Simone Cooley said. "They are often cold, hungry and scared and parents are also quite stressed. It is a great distraction for all."Staff often line the corridor and even though children feel like they are driving the car, more often than not, it is one of our staff members using the remote control to move them safely to theatre." Research shows that riding in a toy car can reduce preoperative anxiety in preschool children undergoing surgery. Operating theatre technician Vicki Bellizzi said staff loved seeing children's faces light up as they make their way towards theatre in their very own ambulance. "We are so thankful for this kind gift from Marco Cavasassi from Smile and Ride Australia," Ms Bellizzi said.