The Toy as a Factor of Better Children’s Integration in Hospitalization Context

  • T. Freitas
  • B. Rangel
  • J. Lino Alves
Part of the Advanced Structured Materials book series (STRUCTMAT, volume 98)


Nowadays, about 121.000 pediatric hospitalizations occur every year in Portuguese hospitals. Hospital admission is a process in which individuals are imposed to change their routines and daily habits and be integrated in a completely new environment. For children, this process is worse than for adults and it leads to undesirable feelings, such as fear and anxiety, which can result in a traumatic experience that negatively affects the recovering process. This paper presents the research work that has been conducted in the scope of the Master Program in Product and Industrial Design of University of Porto, seeking to understand how Design, along with the strategies already used to reduce the negative impact caused by hospitalizations in children’s life, can be used to create a toy that promotes moments of abstraction from the environment in which children are inserted in, as well as moments of play combined with learning and physical, cognitive and social development. Based on the analysis of data collected, a building toy was developed, “Boneco Cubo”, composed by different parts that can be attached to each other in different ways and that intends to contribute to a better integration in the hospital environment while simultaneously stimulating the children’s development. It also intends to be an ally to healthcare professionals as an instrument of children development evaluation.


Toys in hospitals Hospitalization Child Design 



To the Hospital Centers participating in this research, especially the multidisciplinary teams, parents and children who got involved in this study.


The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Project NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000022 SciTech Science and Technology for Competitive and Sustainable Industries, co financed by Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE2020), through Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER).

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


  1. 1.
    INE Web page. (cited January 2017): Health statistics 2013. Lisboa: Statistics Portugal (2015). Portuguese version.
  2. 2.
    INE Web page. (cited January 2017): Health statistics 2014. Lisboa: Statistics Portugal (2016). Portuguese version.
  3. 3.
    INE Web page. (cited January 2017): Health statistics 2015. Lisboa: Statistics Portugal (2017). Portuguese version.
  4. 4.
    Redondeiro, M.: O quotidiano hospitalar da criança: constrangimentos e possibilidades de desenvolvimento, Master thesis in Sociology of hildhood Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal (2003).
  5. 5.
    Blom, G.E.: The reactions of hospitalized children to illness. Pediatrics 22(3), 590–600 (1958)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Engenheiro, O., Geadas, C., Lobo, C., Azougado, C., Figueiredo, J., Simpson, C.: Benefits of play therapy in hospitalized children: an integrative review of the literature. RIASE—Ibero-Am. J. Health Aging 2(1), 454–464 (2016)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Nicola, G.H.M.B., Gomes, G., Costenaro, R., Nietsche, E., Ilha, S.: Ludic care for hospitalized children: perspective of family caregivers and nursing staff. Res. J.: Cuidado é Fundam. Online 6(2), 703–715 (2014).
  8. 8.
    Rocha, P., Caleffi, C., Anders, J., Souza, A., Burciaga, V., Serapião, L.: Contribution of structured therapeutic play in a nursing care model for hospitalised children. Rev. Gaúcha de Enferm 37(2), 1–8 (2016). Online version Portuguese/English.
  9. 9.
    McLeod, S.: Jean Piaget. Simply psychology (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kishimoto, T.: Brincar e suas teorias. Cengage Learn. Editor. (1998)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sousa, L., Vitta, A., Lima, J., Vitta, F.: The act of playing within the hospital context in the vision of the accompanying persons of the hospitalised children. J. Hum. Growth Dev. 25(1), 41–49 (2015). Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dias, J., Silva, A.P., Freire, R., Andrade, A.: Experience of children with cancer and the importance of recreational activities during hospitalization. REME—Rev. Min. Enferm. 17(3), 614–619 (2013). Scholar
  13. 13.
    DesignBoom Web page. (cited April 2017). Sheffield children’s hospital bedrooms by Morag Myerscough.–02-2017/
  14. 14.
    Clown doctor, “Operação Nariz Vermelho” Web page. (cited April 2017).
  15. 15.
    Little bear ELO. (cited April 2017).
  16. 16.
    Kompis the hospital robot. (cited April 2017).
  17. 17.
    Novel Hospital Toys. (cited April 2017).
  18. 18.
    Granta Design Ces Edupack Web page.
  19. 19.
    Young, R. J., Lovell, P. A.: Introducion to poymers. CRC press (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    IBM Web page. IBM ibm spss statistics 24 software.
  21. 21.
    Lundeberg, S., Lundeberg, T.: Pain in infants and children—Physiological background and clinical aspects. Acupunct. Relat. Therapies 1(4), 46–49 (2013). ISSN 2211-7660.
  22. 22.
    Santana, L., Alves, J.L., Netto, A.D.C.S.: A study of parametric calibration for low cost 3D printing: seeking improvement in dimensional quality. Mater. Des. 135, 159–172 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ferreira, I.A., Alves, J.L.: Low-cost 3D food printing. Ciência & Tecnologia dos Materiais 29(1), 265–269 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ferreira, D., Duarte, T., Alves, J.L., Ferreira, I.: Development of low-cost customized hand prostheses by additive manufacturing. Plast. Rubber Compos. 47(1), 25–34 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Product and Industrial DesignUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Design Studio, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.INEGI, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

Personalised recommendations