Children determine our future. We design for it: whimsical and touchable, comforting, and caring. A child can say “it hurts!” but many times can’t tell us what is wrong...
Children are highly dependent upon adults for comfort, guidance, and support, and need the presence of their caring parents, siblings and extended families when they fall ill. Children’s hospitals have always been a place of innovation and experimentation. Many new ways of thinking about design—such as ample accommodation of the extended family—were first implemented in children’s places and later translated into adult facilities. The design for a children's hospital must always accommodate the family. Children going in for surgery should be allowed to have their parents accompany them as they are sedated and as they reawaken and recover from surgery. In the patient rooms, there needs to be ample space for families to be next to their children throughout the day and night. Spaces with kitchen facilities and media access are important for the long hours of waiting and watching as children recover. Gardens for child’s play should be located on the patient unit in an effort to let children re-emerge into regular daily activities and keep families engaged and supportive of their sick children.