Health News

McLeod Children’s Hospital unveils new activity center


In recognition of Children’s Hospitals Week, McLeod Children’s Hospital is excited to reveal the newly-renovated Child Life Activity Center (CLAC).

Featuring interactive, therapeutic activities for all ages, the McLeod CLAC plays a critical role in enhancing a child’s hospital experience, which can be stressful and frightening for both children and their families.

The McLeod CLAC was designed to help children feel like they are in nature rather than a hospital. In the center of the room stands a large, life-like tree, the walls feature a beautiful nature-inspired mural, and the room is filled with interactive educational and fun activities.

Patients of all ages will enjoy the various aspects of the new space, including:

A medical play area with a miniature hospital. The McLeod Child Life Specialist works with children in this area to process what has happened in their medical journey as well as prepare for any upcoming treatments or tests.

An infant play area with seating for family members and natural sunlight.

A teen lounge complete with video gameconsoles, basketball goals, an art center, and an open journal for writing encouraging messages to each other.

Slow, therapeutic activities such as an interactive sand table as well as competitive, fast-paced activities.

The transformation of the McLeod CLAC has been overseen by McLeod Child Life Specialist Cory Prescott, who is specially trained and certified to create an individualized treatment plan based on an assessment of the child’s development, temperament, and coping style.

“Child Life Specialists help patients cope with trauma and/or hospitalization, provide normalization techniques, and advocate for patients, families and nurses,” says Prescott. “This involves explaining procedures by focusing on the child’s senses – what they may see, hear, smell, taste, or touch with regard to their medical treatment.

“One of my favorite things about the new CLAC is its collaborative, inviting environment. This space will allow families to come together while encouraging and supporting one another and ultimately improve the healing process.”

These renovations were made possible by Ruiz Foods and the McLeod Health Foundation.