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New playroom opens at Bronson Children's Hospital

Bronson Children's Hospital Playroom (3).JPG
Posted at 1:16 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 13:16:58-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A new playroom at Bronson Children’s Hospital is helping bring the outdoors in for patients and families.

It was remodeled to make better use of the space, which now includes more natural light and a Michigan camping theme, according to a news release Tuesday.

“Camp Bronson” includes a camper or “Camp-ulance” for kids to play in, a campfire scene with toadstools, a tent and several real trees that have been preserved to make the setting come to life under a canopy of painted leaves.

Bronson Children's Hospital Playroom (8).JPG
Bronson Children's Hospital Playroom (13).JPG

The space is designed so each age group – from babies to toddlers and teens – will have something to keep them busy.

Outlets can be pulled down from the ceiling so medical equipment that needs to be plugged in doesn’t interfere with patients moving around the camp.

“There is something special that happens when you take a patient out of their hospital room and bring them into a child-friendly environment like our new playroom,” said Wendy Kellogg, child life specialist. “It’s truly an immersive experience. When children and families enter the room, we often hear ‘Wow! Check this place out!’ Then the real magic happens and they get to be a child.”

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The opening of the playroom was delayed because of the pandemic.

Now, there’s an appointment system so families can set a time to safely visit the room and staff can fully clean between patient visits.

The playroom was funded through donations to the Bronson Health Foundation, including those raised from the annual Bronson Children’s Hospital Run & Walk.