A hospital can be an overwhelming and scary place for anyone, but especially for its littlest patients. The pain of their own illness, the sight of so many other sick people, the strange equipment and staff around them, all contribute to their feelings of depression and fear. It is critical that children have a hospital environment that stimulates, provides diversion and allows them to feel in control of their outcome. As a rule, children’s hospitals focus on their patients’ psychosocial, recreational and educational requirements along with their medical need. General hospitals tend to allocate a smaller amount of space to their pediatric units and focus more on medical needs.
Daylighting and windows are important for patient relaxation and orientation. Indirect general lighting and accent lighting of areas of activity and interest provides a bright, pleasant environment. Daylight harvesting and automated dimming systems will help save energy.
Diffuse lighting in corridors and warm colors on surfaces and objects create a sense of discovery and security.
Color changing luminaires and pattern projectors help create a dynamic, stimulating and playful environment
Lighting at floor level should be planned for visual activities such as reading, drawing and crafts.
Lighting in patient rooms and nursing stations should be designed to minimize glare so that nurses can observe young patients and patients can see the nurses.
Lighting is needed for close observation but should not be kept at high levels since infants do not have the capacity to adapt to overexposure. Adjustable indirect lighting is recommended with luminaires located so the luminance seen from the bassinet position, is not be harmful to the infant.
Fluorescent lighting with a high CRI is recommended for assessing skin tones.
Natural daylight or daylight control is desirable to set a diurnal pattern.