Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community

Helping kids connect

New Web site calms fears, uncertainties

Fall 2007

Play eases the anxiety of Bernard Dannenberg's young patient.

Power Penguin shows up in different settings on the Kids Connection Web site.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital’s new Web site, the Packard Kids Connection, is an engaging online way for children ages 5 to 12 to learn what to expect during a visit to the hospital. Entirely child centered, the playfully animated bilingual site is filled with interactive games and demonstrations: what to pack, what to wear, what to expect for various tests and treatments, and whom a child might meet.

Content was developed by a team of Packard Children’s experts in Web marketing and in Recreation Therapy and Child Life; members of the Family Advisory Council; pediatric nurses, doctors and therapists; and other staff members.

“The new Web site lets kids know that Packard Children’s is a friendly place,” said Debra Monzack, CCLS, a child life specialist. “Most importantly, the site lets kids familiarize themselves with the hospital experience. As a result, they feel more confident and in control during what could be an unknown and possibly threatening experience.”

Web site visitors can personalize their own avatar to lead them through activities such as a doctor’s kit matching game that familiarizes them with medical equipment and a packing game that encourages them to select items from a virtual bedroom to bring to the hospital. They’ll also spend time with a virtual roommate while they check out the features of their hospital room and learn about having visitors.

Kids see what happens step-by-step in each of the animated test and treatment sections, which include blood draw, IV, X-ray, CT scan, MRI scan and anesthesia. Each section has opportunities for interaction: decorate your IV, choose a relaxing daydream, select the right outfit for the day of your scan and more. Power Penguin takes on the role of a patient’s stuffed toy, sharing experiences throughout the hospital.

Finally, other resources available for children at Packard Children’s Hospital—the Forever Young Zone playroom, library, school, outdoor spaces and cafeteria—are presented as brochures for kids to peruse,  with photos and on-location videos.

Check out the new Packard Kids Connection Web site at

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