Children's Hospital at Erlanger integrates zoo channel to help kids take mind off visits

San Diego Zoo channel & Children's Hospital at Erlanger - WTVC.PNG
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Kids at Children's Hospital at Erlanger have the opportunity to see a few familiar faces that might help put them at ease during doctor visits.

The Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Zoo hope to make the hospital more comfortable.

Children and families at the hospital can watch the San Diego Zoo Kids Channel from their patient rooms.

Thom Benson with the Tennessee Aquarium says sometimes meeting with doctors and explaining what a child is going through can be difficult, especially with young kids who don't understand what's happening to them.

"It also opens the door for the patient-child relationship to be a little bit better because they can come into the room and say, 'Hey I noticed you were watching the San Diego Zoo Kids TV. What's your favorite animal?' And it really relieves some of that white coat syndrome," said Benson.

Michelle Myers from the San Diego Zoo says the one thing they hope for is bringing a smile or a laugh to children that watch the channel, but she says it's not just for kids.

"The grandmother was in tears. They were in a car accident, lost the mother as well, and so to see what this meant to them and that, she actually said this is the first time he got to laugh and just have fun and be a kid. That means the world to us," says Myers.

Folks from the San Diego Zoo say the channel also teaches children that what they do matters, just like each animal and insect matters in the animal kingdom.

Patients have access to the San Diego Zoo Kids Channel and can look forward to animal stories that feature the Chattanooga Zoo and the Tennessee Aquarium.