Pediatrics waiting rooms differ greatly from other types of waiting rooms due to the age of the user. Although ED, radiology, and all other departments may still have children in their waiting rooms, pediatrics must be designed primarily for these specific users.

Special Needs to Address in Pediatrics Waiting Rooms:
There are many different issues worth looking into when it comes to addressing the needs of a pediatric waiting room. Although the list is long, there are some more critical than others that need to be thought of.
  • Pediatric office waiting rooms are filled with germs crawling around on toys
  • Children will want toys, books, games, etc. to entertain them while waiting
  • Play tables can provide children with an area to use their toys rather than playing on the ground
Design Techniques used in Pediatrics Waiting Rooms:
If entertaining adults in a waiting room is a struggle, it must be even harder to keep a child busy while waiting for an extended period of time. There are several different ways that pediatrics waiting rooms can be designed to make the waiting experience for children fun.
  • Creating two separate waiting areas, one for "under the weather patients" and one for "well patients" to eliminate the spread of germs
  • Fish tanks that children can walk around help distract and keep them entertained
  • Furniture that appeals to children, such as small tables and chairs that are "kid size"
  • Tiles rather than carpet to make for an easier cleanup
Pediatrics - Health Architecture Pediatrics - Health Architecture

Educational Techniques used in Pediatrics Waiting Rooms:
Rather than place a television and video game in the middle of the waiting room, it is better to incorporate alternative activities for children to learn while in a waiting room.
Glow Hand Gel Case Study:
  • Glowing hand gel was made available to children in a pediatrics restroom
  • Participants were randomized without having any previous knowledge of hand sanitation
  • After using the hand gel, any "dirty" spots would glow on the hands using a black light
  • This educated children on duration and technique it takes to get rid of germs on their hands, all while spending time in a waiting room
Pediatrics - Health Architecture

Case Study Eliminating Televisions and Magazines:
  • Encourages reading by eliminating the television and magazines
  • Several children's books are available
  • Parents are prompted to read to children because there is no television or magazines to distract them
  • Creates a much calmer waiting experience than if children were running around with toys

1.Chilton, L. (2005, October). Put the focus on reading in the waiting room. Contemporary Pediatrics, 22(10), 25. Retrieved from
2.Fishbein, A., Tellez, I., Lin, H., Sullivan, C., Groll, M. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology , Vol. 32, No. 7 (July 2011), pp. 661-666. Published by: The University of Chicago Press. Article Stable URL:
3.Pappas, D., Owens, H., Schwartz, R. (2010). Respiratory Viral RNA on Toys in Pediatric Office Waiting Rooms. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 102-104.
4."Put a fish tank in your ED waiting room." ED Nursing 1 Nov. 1997. Academic OneFile. Web. 14 May 2013.

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