ELMHURST — A bright playroom filled with therapeutic toys to help cheer up severely ill patients has opened in Elmhurst Hospital's pediatric unit.
The department of pediatrics unveiled the new inpatient play space, renovated with a $5,000 grant from the Starlight Children's Foundation, in November and held a ribbon cutting on Dec. 4
Walls are painted with silhouettes of trees and kites, and the toys are designed to help kids interact with each other — which can help them feel less alone, officials said.
The room also offers an expanded space for the hospital's Child Life Program, which helps calm children during hospital visits. It is currently only conducted at a child's bedside.
"Hospitalization is an especially difficult experience for children, so we are grateful to have this child-friendly area where kids can just relax, play, and have fun," said Chris Constantino, a senior vice president of the Queens Health Network and the executive director at the hospital.
Elmhurst Hospital is one of the busiest in the city, treating more than 600,000 patients, including 140,000 emergency room visits a year, according to the hospital.
The pediatric department features primary care clinics and its own 24-hour emergency room.