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pediatric rehab

Whimsical therapy rooms lessen anxiety for children

Two redecorated child-friendly therapy rooms provide the newest spaces for children undergoing physical therapy at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.

The rooms resemble playrooms, not clinical spaces, and they are having the effect on youngsters practitioners had hoped for. They say the whimsical spaces are lessening anxiety for young patients and providing a more comfortable setting for putting children through the paces of physical therapy.

“Our pediatric therapist said the makeover in the rooms are so comforting to the youngest of the patients, making it easier for them to complete therapy sessions without a child getting anxious,” said Toni Gary, assistant vice president for community relations and development at the Upstate Foundation.

The redesign and renovation, carried out by Upstate's Physical Plant, was supported by the Dunkin Joy in Childhood Foundation and Starlight Children’s Foundation, which promotes the Starlight Spaces program that re-imagines playrooms, treatment rooms, lounges, family kitchens, and even outdoor playgrounds to help create a space that is more relaxing and comfortable for seriously ill kids and their families.

“We’re honored to partner with the Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital to provide pediatric patients with two new therapy rooms, which provide an environment that is vibrant, fun and reminds them of the joy of childhood,” said Dunkin’ Field Marketing Manager Eric Stensland. “The Joy in Childhood Foundation and our Central New York Dunkin’ franchisees are honored to support the children and families undergoing treatment in our community.”

The rooms are painted in an undersea theme and are chock-full of toys that double as therapy aids. There are also magnetic walls that kids to decorate.

Since 2003, over 114 Starlight Spaces have transformed the hospital experience for more than 3.2 million children at more than 90 children’s hospitals and pediatric units in 27 states. Each space works to provide patients with comfort, socialization, and a sense of normalcy.

Caption: One of the two newly decorated therapy rooms for children is designed to lessen anxiety among children during their appointment.