The idea for creating the Mobile Playroom, as most ideas do, came from an unfulfilled need that Oscar’s parents identified while Oscar was being treated either at the hospital or the outpatient clinic. Although he was fortunate to have been treated at institutions that did have playroom facilities, access to them was not necessarily easy. Oscar’s parents realized that, in general, “traditional” playrooms, although great when available, have several limitations:
- The operation and the supervision on the playrooms is restricted by the availability of the hospital’s resources (human, economic, etc.), which meant that they were open on a very limited schedule. It became obvious pretty quickly that children do not follow the schedule of the playroom when they want or need to play.
- There are times when the children, due to their diagnosis, medical condition or treatment are unable to leave their bed / room and go to the traditional playroom, thus completely missing the opportunity to engage in play even if limited.
- There are facilities that do not have a playroom available at all and children are left to find entertainment on their own.
To address these issues, The Oscar Litwak Foundation created the Mobile Playroom which is the centerpiece of the Mobile Playroom Program. The Mobile Playrooms are specially manufactured carts filled with toys, books, arts and crafts that can be wheeled from one room to the next, serving a great number of patients. The contents of each mobile playroom can be customized to the needs of each hospital based on its patient population.
Mobile Playroom units are granted on a first-come-first-served basis to the requesting hospitals and healthcare institutions, and unless there are no children being treated there (i.e. no pediatric programs or pediatric emergency facilities), no request will be denied!
If you would like to know which hospitals and institutions are awaiting the arrival of their Mobile Playroom unit, click here.