Multi-sensory play in the Lion Ward
Patients in the Variety Children’s Hospital at King’s College Hospital are now able to enjoy the benefits of a newly refurbished sensory room thanks to a wonderful gift from the Prafarata Foundation.
The renovated facilities provide children and their families with an opportunity to play and relieve their stress in a safe, engaging environment. David McCormick, consultant paediatrician at King’s, says that using this new sensory room is ‘a truly rewarding experience’ for everyone.
A benefit to all children
The room is particularly beneficial for play specialists and therapists who work with children in the neuroscience ward. However, the space can be used by just about any child in the 115-bed children’s hospital, including those with visual or hearing impairments as well as children suffering from complex conditions such as sickle cell disease or cancer.
Research has shown that sensory play can benefit nearly all children who are hospitalised, from youngsters who can play independently to those who need a full rehabilitation programme. Such programmes can include physiotherapy and speech and language therapy to re-learn cognitive, motor, language and daily living skills.
A magical new space
Through a generous gift from the pioneering Prafarata Foundation, the sensory room has been transformed by the installation of new, state-of-the-art equipment. Children are now enjoying a mix of interactive play areas, including wall mirrors and a multi-coloured light ladder.
To ensure that the room is completely safe and child-friendly, it has padded walls and flooring throughout as well as a range of soft cushioned toys.
‘My daughter can play and enjoy herself as much as she wants,’ says one parent whose child recently received care on the Lion Ward. ‘I can feel reassured about her safety in this room.’
One of the most exciting developments of the refurbishment is the introduction of a mobile multisensory unit that can be used by those children who are too unwell to visit or be moved into the room. Staff can bring the mobile unit directly to the bedside of these children.
‘Our son now enjoys the mobile sensory toys,’ says another parent. ‘Staff can bring the play experience to him.’
Equipment like this, which makes a hospital stay much less stressful for children, is only possible through donations. Your help makes a difference – please donate to King’s today.