About Packard Kids Connection
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital’s new Web site, Packard Kids Connection, is an engaging, interactive way for children ages 5-12 to learn what it’s like to come to the hospital. Entirely child-centered, the site is filled with interactive games and demonstrations, including what to pack, what to wear, step-by-step demonstrations of common tests and treatments, and introductions to the many people at the hospital.
Designed for kids to navigate with or without a parent’s help, Packard’s Kids Connection is playfully animated, available in English or Spanish and closed-captioned. The site was developed by a team of Packard Children’s experts in Child Life and Recreation Therapy, members of the Family Advisory Council, the News and Communications team, and pediatric nurses, doctors, therapists and many other staff members.
Activities like the doctor’s kit matching game help familiarize children with the most common medical equipment they may see during their hospital visit. Throughout the site, photographs and video clips give children the opportunity to see and hear from real children who’ve been treated at Packard Children’s. The site also helps new families to be “in the know” about services and activities that they might not normally learn about before their first visit, but which could make their experience far better right from the start. “Families don’t always know, for example, that child life specialists are here to explain procedures to kids, support them, and offer ways to help them relax during a test or treatment,” says Monzack.
All About MeIn the “All About Me” section, kids can personalize an onscreen character who will guide them through the site. Whether it’s green skin and bunny ears, or a more realistic look just like themselves, kids can change the character, colors and details as many times as they like. A printable hospital security badge and door hanger feature the child’s own custom-designed character, ready to color.
Getting ReadyCan kids bring their favorite stuffed animal or a laptop computer? What about their own snacks or a skateboard? Answers are in the packing game, where kids select items from a virtual bedroom to see if they go into the backpack. A printable, packing checklist is available to help making real-life packing that much easier.
Kids can also hear from the people they’ll meet when they arrive at the hospital, check out some of the features of their hospital room, meet a roommate and get to know some of the hospital staff members who will come to their room. They can also get some tips about having visitors.
Getting TreatedIn each of the animated test and treatment sections – blood draw, IV, x-ray, CT scan, MRI scan and anesthesia – kids can see what happens step-by-step and get to know who will be there to help them. Each section is chock full of interactive games and opportunities: decorate your IV, choose a relaxing daydream, learn about the best outfits for the day of your scan and more. A faithful stuffed animal friend named Power Penguin comes along every step of the way to add some comfort and a little fun, just like a real patient’s stuffed toy can. And videos from real patients help put kids at ease.
Getting AroundAll the resources available for children at Packard Children’s Hospital – the Forever Young Zone playroom, library, school, cafeteria, chapel and outdoor spaces – are presented for kids to peruse, with photos and videos to make them feel more familiar. A printable scavenger hunt leads kids on a trail through the hospital, with a prize for every participant at the end.
The best thing about Packard Kids Connection is that it’s fun! Patients, families and visitors are all welcome. You’re invited too! Visit http://kids.lpch.org.