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Creating Child-Friendly Areas in Your Practice Environment
Whether you run a veterinary, medical, dental or x-ray practice, you’re bound to have children spending time in your waiting area. But is your practice set up to cater to these children (and their parents) with child-friendly areas?
Why be child-friendly?
Entertaining their child in an unfamiliar environment can make visiting your practice a stressful experience for your adult patients.
By incorporating child-friendly areas in your practice, you make the job of entertaining a child as easy as possible for visiting parents. In turn, this reduces stress and anxiety, improves their experience and makes your practice a more attractive choice long-term.
Child-friendly areas also improve children’s comfort, which is particularly important if children are your patients. Receiving medical or dental treatment can be an intimidating experience for kids. Making your practice a more comfortable and less scary place for them to be will help these children to feel more settled – in turn helping you provide treatment, and helping their parents feel less stressed.
Child-friendly waiting area ideas
There are plenty of ways to create child-friendly areas in your practice environment.
The popular approach is to have a play area in your waiting area, like this kids’ corner at Nundah Village Dental.
Although these child-friendly areas may be common, the opportunity for tailoring is almost limitless. Your play area may include a fully-stocked “colouring in” station to promote quiet and creative play, a shelf with toys and simple wooden puzzles, or even child-sized chairs and tables with craft supplies.
In larger practices, you could consider having a kids’ zone waiting area that’s completely separate from the adult waiting area. Here’s one we built for Grow Medical.
Having a separate area like this allows you to fully customise the space to suit your pint-sized patients, with child-sized furniture, wall decals and even a TV playing popular G-rated shows. These waiting areas make your practice experience even less stressful for parents, who don’t have to worry about disrupting other adult patients and visitors.
Resident pets can also help to make your practice more child-friendly. Children are endlessly fascinated watching fish in large fish tanks, and most will be very eager if there’s an opportunity to play with the practice cat or dog.
Of course, your waiting area isn’t the only part of your practice that can be child-friendly. If you’re treating children at your practice, it’s worth making your examination rooms child-friendly too.
One easy way to do this is to use feature walls to create a child-friendly atmosphere. This jungle-themed wall at Toothpaste Dental is one great example.
You could also incorporate fun elements into your practice’s design, such as footprints on the floor they can follow to navigate through your practice.
Your next fitout
To see more examples of child-friendly areas in various practices, check out our fitouts gallery.
And if you’re considering your next fitout? Contact Elite today to discuss your new or renovated practice.