OHSU

Developmentally Supported Play

Making art with medical equipment

Play is important for your child's healthy growth and development. We provide play at the bedside to support your child's development, and, in our playrooms, to encourage their social, emotional and cognitive growth.

Playroom locations: 

9 South playroom – for children ages 4 and older who are admitted to the Pediatric Acute Care Center. 

9 North playroom – for children ages 0-3 who are admitted to the Pediatric Acute Care Center. 

10 South playroom – for children of all ages admitted to the Cancer unit

10 North playroom – for children of all ages admitted to the Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit.

Suggestions for Coping with Hospitalizations

Hospitalization can be a stressful experience for children and their families. Preparing you and your child/ adolescent for these experiences can decrease stress and facilitate healthy coping with hospitalization.

Common stressors for the hospitalized Infant:

  • Separation from parents
  • Having many different caregivers
  • Strange sights, sounds, and smells
  • Disrupted routines
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Day and night confusion
  • Ways adults may be helpful:
  • Bring your baby's favorite security item (i.e. a blanket or pacifier) and perhaps some soothing music to the hospital. This will help create a more familiar environment for your baby.
  • Let the nursing staff know what your baby's usual schedule is, including sleep patterns and feeding habits.
  • Make plans for at least one caregiver to be with your baby as much as possible so that he/she will have familiar touch, voice, and smile.

Common stressors for the Toddler/Preschooler:

  • Thinking he/she is in the hospital because he/she is in trouble or being punished
  • Fear(s) of:
  • Being away from family and home, and/ or of being left alone
  • Needles and shots
  • The dark

Ways adults can be helpful:

  • Explain why your child is going to the hospital using words your child understands.
  • Be honest when answering your child's questions.
  • Read books about going to the hospital with your child. (see list below)
  • Allow your child to help pack his/her own suitcase. Bringing a favorite security item such as: a blanket, stuffed animal, pictures of family, and/or pets can be very comforting.

Helpful books/resources for you and your child:

Going to the Hospital: Fred Rogers

Going to the Hospital: Anne Civardi and Stephen Cartwright

A Visit to the Sesame Street Hospital: Franklin Goes to the Hospital 

Random House/Children's Television Workshop: Sharon Jennings

Pooh Plays Doctor: K. W. Zoehfeld 

Corduroy Goes to the Doctor: L. Mc Cue

One bear in the Hospital: C. Bucknall

Common stressors for the School Age Child:

  • Being away from school and friends
  • Thinking he/she is in the hospital because he/she has been bad or is being punished
  • Having a part of the body destroyed or injured
  • Waking up during surgery
  • Loss of control/privacy
  • Pain (or the possibility of pain)
  • Fear of needles and shots

Ways adults can be helpful:

  • Encourage your child's friends to visit the hospital when possible, to call and/ or send cards.
  • Emphasize that your child has not done anything wrong and that hospitalization is not a punishment
  • Explain why your child is having surgery in words he/she can understand
  • Read books about the hospital or surgery with your entire family. (see list below)
  • Helpful books/resources for you and your child:

Kids Health Galaxy
http://www.kidshealthgalaxy.com/ 

The Hospital Book
James Howe

Things To Know Before You Go To The Hospital
Lisa Ann Marsoli

Let's Talk About Going To The Hospital
Marianne Johnston and Erin Mckenna

What's Inside a Hospital?
Sharon Gordon

Common stressors for the hospitalized Adolescent:

  • Loss of independence, privacy and control
  • Being away from school and friends
  • Having a part of his/her body damaged or changed in appearance
  • What others will think about them being sick or in the hospital
  • Surgery and its risks
  • Pain
  • The unknown
  • Waking up during surgery

Ways adults may be helpful:

  • Allow your adolescent to be part of the decision-making process. Encourage him or her to make a list of questions to ask the physicians and nurses.
  • Be honest when answering your adolescent's questions.
  • Encourage your adolescent to pick out and bring a few familiar items from home (i.e. Ps2 games, I pod, DVD's, books).
  • Ask your adolescent how he or she would like to keep in contact with peers while hospitalized. Would they like visitors, phone calls, text messages, email etc?

Helpful books/resources for you and your adolescent:

Band Aides and Blackboards
http://www.lehman.cuny.edu/faculty/jfleitas/bandaides/

Kids Health
http://www.kidshealth.com/teen/

Your Child in the Hospital: A Practical Guide for Parents
Nancy Keene

Toy cars © OHSU

FOR MORE INFORMATION

503 418-5388
Girl at Doernbecher