Garth Brooks made a special visit to Children's Health in Dallas last week to dedicate the hospital's newly remodeled Child Life Zone. The Zone is part of Teammates for Kids' Child Life Zone Network, a group of Child Life Zones in 11 pediatric hospitals across the country that are funded by the Teammates for Kids Foundation.
A Child Life Zone is a state-of-the-art, therapeutic play area inside a hospital where pediatric patients and their families can play, learn, laugh, and have a respite from medical procedures. "I think one of the kids’ greatest powers is their own resilience that’s within them, and even that can get depleted, to tell you the truth,” Brooks said. “So these zones kind of allow you to get that built back up."
The Zone at Children's Health in Dallas was originally opened in 1996 by the Troy Aikman foundation as “Aikman’s End Zone.” It was the first interactive, therapeutic playroom that led to the launch of the Child Life Zone Network. The Zone was remodeled in 2003 and underwent another renovation that was completed late in 2016. Nicknamed "The Big Z," the newly renovated space includes an infant play area, a dramatic play area for school-aged children, and a bubble column which changes colors for sensory stimulation and calming. Patients can be creative in a crafting space and try out new recipes in the kitchen. There is also a wall of Microsoft X-Box Systems and a Panasonic 9-screen TV with a Microsoft interactive system. The Zone is decorated with sports memorabilia from beloved Dallas area teams.