An ongoing issue for medical practice staff is how to provide a play area and/or toys in the waiting room which are safe, tidy, durable & easy to keep clean.
This article on ABC News earlier this year highlighted the danger of toys in waiting rooms, referring to them as a 'breeding ground for germs'. National Health Co-op has permanently removed all toys from its practices as a result.
Do you still have a box of wonky plastic blocks, dog-eared books & broken Barbie dolls in your practice but are not sure how to create a safe, hygienic play area for children?
We've put together a few helpful tips for you to ensure that you’re not only providing a ‘best practice’ play area in your waiting room, but also conforming to RACGP accreditation standards.
- Provide play equipment that conforms to Australian Standards. If it's not clear, ask your supplier.
- Ensure the play equipment is of durable, commercial quality so it doesn’t break within a week or two. This means buying good quality equipment from commercial suppliers, not toys from the local toy shop or two dollar store.
- Install play equipment that is self-contained & firmly fixed to avoid choking hazards for children or tripping hazards for other patients and staff. Wall mounted play panels, bead & maze tables and interactive touch screens are all ideal for waiting rooms.
- Bring in toys from home – they are not safe or durable.
- Provide toys that your reception staff need to constantly tidy like jigsaws or boxes of blocks – it’s an unproductive use of their time.
- Provide toys that can’t be cleaned easily and daily – too long between cleans is a cross-infection risk.
Our company has helped hospitals such as Sydney Children’s, Westmead, RNSH, as well as over 300 medical practices around Australia to create safe, hygienic, tidy play areas so we’ve seen it all.
We'd be more than happy to have a chat to you about your waiting room if you'd like some free advice.
Of course, if you want to jump straight in and replace your old toys with some commercial quality equipment right away, you can order all our waiting room products online at http://www.childfriendly.com.au/
You can also keep up to date with us on our Facebook page. We'd love to follow you on Facebook too so we can promote your practice to our clients - let us know where we can find you.