Children’s Hospital Boston Web Site Adds New Family Resource Hosted by the Star of the Marc Brown Books and ARTHUR® Series on PBS

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Children’s Hospital Boston has created a resource for families—no matter where they live—to prepare kids for hospital visits. “Arthur’s Guide to Children’s Hospital Boston,” hosted by everyone’s favorite aardvark from the Marc Brown books and the ARTHUR series on PBS, can be found in both English and Spanish on Children’s new Web site at http://www.childrenshospital.org/arthur.

Visiting a hospital can be a scary experience for a child, whether he or she is sick or are going to see a relative or friend. In an effort to help children cope with their fears, Children’s Hospital Boston has created a resource for families—no matter where they live—to prepare kids for hospital visits. “Arthur’s Guide to Children’s Hospital Boston,” hosted by everyone’s favorite aardvark from the Marc Brown books and the ARTHUR series on PBS, can be found in both English and Spanish on Children’s new Web site at http://www.childrenshospital.org/arthur.

“Arthur’s Guide to Children’s Hospital Boston” was created to answer questions children may have about going to the hospital and to help prepare the entire family for the visit. Designed to look and read like a school report by Arthur and his friends, the guide describes hospital experiences in simple terms, and covers in detail three types of visits: doctor’s visits, pre-operative visits, and hospital stays. In each, kids can:

Read about the staff they may meet, from doctors and nurses, to radiologists and nutritionists, and even clowns and dogs who visit patients;

Learn about the many locations in a hospital;

Play cool activities before, during and after their visit to the hospital, including “Buster’s Waiting Games,” “Arthur’s Scavenger Hunt” (coming this Winter), and “E-mail a Friend.”

“Over the years, Arthur has been a good friend to kids by sharing with them important topics not ordinarily discussed on children’s television,” said Arthur creator Marc Brown. “Health issues, including asthma, food allergies, and basic first aid have been among these topics, so it’s exciting to me that Arthur is now helping to comfort and educate children who must go to the hospital.” Next year Arthur will go a step further: In Spring 2006, Arthur’s sister D.W. will experience her first trip to the hospital in the new ARTHUR television episode “Operation: D.W!” Cynthia Levin, Director of the Center for Families at Children’s Hospital Boston, is an advisor on that episode, which will premiere during the series’ tenth season on PBS.

While some children will be able to surf the site independently, it’s recommended that parents explore the guide together with the child and talk about the upcoming visit. On Children’s Hospital Boston’s Web site (http://www.childrenshospital.org), adults can access additional resources. Two popular features for parents are the “My Child Has” search feature, which includes information about 1,200 childhood illnesses and conditions; and the “Experience Journal” where young patients and their families have shared their personal medical experiences. Parents can also request an appointment online. The site includes general information about the hospital, as well as a rich variety of resources about each department and specialty.

Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is the nation's leading pediatric medical center, the largest provider of health care to Massachusetts children, and the primary pediatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. In addition to 347 pediatric and adolescent inpatient beds and comprehensive outpatient programs, Children's houses the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries benefit both children and adults. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, nine members of the Institute of Medicine and 10 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. For more information about the hospital visit: http://www.childrenshospital.org.

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Lisa Cerqueira
WGBH
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