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Creating a Healing Environment for Hospitalized Children

We all know how scary and intimidating a hospital can be for children, but when it is designed to create an inviting space it reduces a child’s fear and anxiety. I am excited to have Sherlyn Hailstone from TivoliToo share the positive impact that the company is having on pediatric patients and their families.

CG Submarine side view

During my many years as a hospital president in a pediatric hospital I failed to appreciate the incredible impact the built environment had on the experience of children with severe illnesses. As a child life specialist you are aware that research has shown that pediatric patients often experience stress, fear, anxiety, and hopelessness in healthcare settings where the typical sterile-looking environment appear intimidating to children.

I felt our pediatric hospital was cheerful and welcoming but based on feedback from families, patients and hospital staff I was convinced to take a hard look at what could be done to make our hospital more child friendly.

In our quest to make improvements, we engaged TivioliToo, Inc a design and theming company with years of experience designing child friendly and fun environments for the entertainment and hospitality industries. They have designed for such companies as Disney, Nickelodeon, and Great Wolf Lodge.

Tivolitoo_logo_Large- updated 2-1-2015

They worked closely with our interior design firm and staff to implement their ideas into the healthcare setting and the results were spectacular. The evidence-based pediatric designs, based on nature, include bright colors, water features, and non-threatening wildlife.

ED Waiting room picture

The designs also incorporate opportunities for positive distraction by incorporating creative play areas and gaming systems. The use of 3-dimensional and raised relief structures provided interest and engagement in the environment that made a real difference in how our patients experienced the facility.

Candice was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia when she was just 3 years old, so she has become a regular visitor to the cancer center. Angelita, her mother says the transformation from typical hospital walls to the under-the-sea ocean theme in the cancer center has been, “Amazing; it’s wonderful. It’s been easy to tell Candice that we will go see her fish and then play in the submarine and waterfall area rather than tell her she’s coming to the hospital. She knows that this is her area; it’s her space.”

After experiencing firsthand, the amazing impact the transformed areas of the hospital had, I decided to join the company after my retirement. My mission is to take the company’s motto “to create really cool stuff that wows people” into as many pediatric environments as possible to reduce the stress of the children who need our care. A mission I know is shared by all of you.

Be sure to check out additional design examples at TivoliToo Healthcare Theming 

For further information, click here to contact TivoliToo.


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