Making the medical environment child-friendly is a great idea yet requires a careful choice of safe materials for hospital room design. A friendly, welcoming environment has been shown to help both children and their families as they go through difficult procedures. One of these procedures – having an MRI scan in a diagnostic imaging unit – was made far less scary by use of some large EPS foam blocks from Universal Foam Products.
Many paediatric units decorate walls with cheerful images and murals. At a hospital in South Florida, they wanted to go one step further and transform the CT scanner itself. The designers wanted to create an outer shell with a fantastic SeaWorld theme. The ‘shells’, ‘rocks’ and ‘seaweed’ would completely disguise the piece of equipment from a child’s point of view while still making it completely accessible to staff.
The starting point was four foam blocks of nominal 2 lb density virgin EPS 8” x 48” x 72”. The foam was carved using a hot wire and hot knives as well as grinders and sanders. To ensure the final surface was hospital safe, the foam was then primed, hard coated, painted and finished. Along with matching murals on the walls, the room was transformed from scary to inviting and child friendly with colourful creatures everywhere.
A scan can take around 30 minutes where the child must stay as still as possible. This can involve sedation and anaesthetic – not always ideal for young children. A recent research study has shown that creative room design can be one of the factors contributing to fewer children requiring sedation when undergoing MRI scans.
Adding sculptural effects to children’s areas with lightweight and easy to carve EPS foam blocks can be incredibly effective. Take a look at the design images here to see what can be achieved. For a quote on EPS foam blocks for your sculptural project, call us now at 410-498-0000.