The Tree Hutt is the name of the children’s area of the Hutt Hospital Emergency Department.
In The Tree Hutt you will find visual, sensory and auditory distractions to help children as they experience the emergency department. New Zealand’s beautiful native bush and wildlife is the overall theme. The Rata tree welcomes everyone to the area and Pip the Kiwi, Lulu the Huhu Bug, Matilda Morepork, Wiki the Weta, Poko the Kakapo and Sam the Tuatara will be on hand to guide each child’s’ journey. In the waiting area, children can push buttons to control a train that runs through the tree tops. Native birds call as the train travels along the track. A plentiful supply of reading and activity books are on hand. This has all been designed based on the concept of ‘distraction therapy’.
The aim of distraction therapy is to minimise the trauma of hospital experience for the child and their family.
A child-friendly environment with murals, themes and toys is the key to distraction, which increases the child’s ability to cope by stimulating them to concentrate on something else. For many children it takes their minds off the strange smells, sights, sounds, fears and anxiety that they may not have experienced before. Having the use of a focused and therapeutic area helps the child and family to understand the illness, the treatment and the management they receive in the emergency service.