A Hospital Is Helping Kids To Perform Heart Transplants in Frisco (Sort Of)

Scanning someone's brain with an MRI machine may not seem like child's play. But kids will have the opportunity to do that and much more—on mannequins, that is—at a new Children's Health Hospital experience at KidZania Dallas in Frisco.

Children’s Health Hospital in Plano will soon be helping kids perform heart transplants, scan brains with MRI machines, and give fire victims emergency treatment. But before you get fired up and report this to the Texas Medical Board, there’s one more detail: The kids will be working on mannequins at a theme park.

Frisco’s KidZania Dallas, a global interactive edutainment theme park, is collaborating with Children’s Health on “a learning initiative designed to educate and entertain young visitors.” 

Launching this month, the so-called “Children’s Health Hospital at KidZania Dallas” will give children the opportunity to participate in a variety of interactive medical experiences and hands-on learning activities.

Using scripts developed by team members at Children’s Health and Children’s Health Andrews Institute for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, KidZania theme park visitors will be able to perform the following health care and sports medicine activities, per KidZania:

:: Heart Transplant Surgery: As surgeons, children will perform life-saving heart transplants on a medical mannequin, gaining a deeper understanding of the human heart.
:: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): As a NICU nurse, children will administer specialized care to premature babies, which fosters responsibility, empathy, and teamwork.
:: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): As radiologists, children will learn about MRI technology and its importance in modern medicine as they scan a mannequin’s brain to identify and diagnose potential swelling following a head injury.
:: Emergency Room (ER): In response to a simulated fire emergency, children will administer first aid to treat patients suffering from smoke inhalation and complications associated with asthma, introducing future EMTs to the field of pulmonology and emergency medical care.
:: Sports Performance Center: Children will step into the role of a sports physical therapist by learning how to guide athletes in injury recovery and effective rehabilitation through proper warm-up techniques and sport-specific drills.

“We’re excited to work with Childrens Health,” KidZania USA COO Natalia Znakharenko said in a statement. “This collaboration embodies shared values of education, empowerment, and curiosity. By providing entertaining and educational experiences for children, we hope to inspire future generations of medical professionals.”

At its theme park in Frisco, KidZania offers “an interactive kids’ city” combining inspiration, fun and learning through realistic role-play for children ages 4 to 14. Children are able to independently explore “a kid-sized city” while experiencing over 100 careers.

“Each ultra-realistic experience empowers kids, gives them the confidence to be their best selves, and inspires them to be great global citizens,” the company says. KidZania originated in Mexico City in 1999. It currently has 26 facilities in 17 countries.

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