Interactive floors bring joy for children at Odense University Hospital
It is particularly hard to keep children occupied while waiting for their surgery. At Hans Christian Andersen Children’s Hospital, which is part of Odense University Hospital, they have found a solution for this.
In an area located in the middle of a 145-meter-long corridor called the Fairy Tale Corridor, you can hear cheering and laughter when children and their parents meet on the interactive floor, WizeFloor. Here the children use their hands and feet to click on the large screen on the floor and play different games either alone or against each other.
The hospital was among the first in the health field to install the interactive floors back in 2013 in both the Fairy Tale Corridor and at the Department of Oncology. The idea was to get the children out of their hospital beds and stimulate them physically and mentally, thus making them recover faster.
"It gives diversion to the children and gives them an opportunity to spend time actively instead of just lying in their wards waiting to get well", Mette Sorang Kjær explains. She works as Welfare Coordinator and Social Educator at Hans Christian Andersen Children’s Hospital.
The interactive floors are a valuable contribution in a period where the hospital is challenged by the stricter demands for cleaning caused by the Corona pandemic. They have a positive effect now that toys have been removed and common rooms have been shut down.
“It has been an obvious success, and the solution fits well with the pandemic because it provides an opportunity for playing without touching anything. It fully meets our original requirements, namely an offer that can draw the children out of their beds and be used 24 hours a day without tidying up and at the same time it can bring children together across diagnoses and special needs. Today, a new feature has been added to the floor,” explains Mette Sorang Kjær.
In her work as a welfare coordinator, she has had the task of creating the best settings for the children at the hospital. In her search for possible solutions, she came across the interactive floor.
The floor is freely accessible, so a lot of children and parents use it spontaneously when they are there. There are no rules for how to use it.
It is both used by the child who is fasting while waiting for surgery together with his parents. Or by a girl who spends her waiting time with the hero in the game. Or it can be a family with brothers and sisters who come from far away to visit a new little brother.
“It draws the children out of bed when their mother or father suggests to go and pop balloons. And I can see something happening in the relationship with those who meet on the floor. A community arises when a child plays football, pops balloons or plays other games with his father. And it also works for children using wheelchair,” she explains.
WizeFloor includes a wide range of activities ranging from quizzes and memory games to balloon games and categorization games. The games are designed to stimulate interactivity, collaboration and inclusion of all users on the floor.