| Child Life Specialist
Being in the hospital can be hard for children. Child life specialists are available to help patients, siblings and other family members:
- Cope with the stress of a hospital stay
- Have a positive health care experience
- Understand and explore the medical setting
As child life specialists, we are trained in fields related to child development and are certified by the National Child Life Council. We can provide your child and family with resources throughout the hospital stay.
Family support services
Family support resources may include:
- Age-appropriate activities while in the hospital
- Information about child development
- Ideas to ease the transition from hospital to home
Coping and procedural support
Children learn through play and need opportunities to take a break from the medical setting around them. We offer the following items for play and distraction:
- Age-appropriate toys
- Laptop computer
- Board games/puzzles
- Video games (Wii)
Procedural and pre-operative teaching
Child life specialists have been called “child interpreters.” If your child understands the health care experience, he or she will have less stress. We are available to explain procedures and treatment. Our teaching will be based on your child’s developmental level.
Visits to the pediatric unit
Siblings and friends are important to the hospitalized child. Familiar faces can make a child’s hospital stay easier for everyone. But the unfamiliar sights and sounds of a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can be hard for children. We can prepare young visitors with pictures, books and age-appropriate information. This visit preparation can reduce anxiety and offer a safe setting for questions about your child’s condition.
Playing with medical equipment gives children a sense of control over their environment. We oversee medical play to help your child become familiar with the hospital. During play, a child can express feelings of fear and concern. We then can address these issues.
For more information
Please ask your doctor or nurse about the availability of a child life specialist for your needs.
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