A trip to the hospital is a new and frightening thing for a child: big words, loud beeps, and lots of strangers. What if there was a stranger who was there to support your child and help them through the hospital experience through play and learning?
Child Life is committed to the practice of family-centered care and providing age appropriate opportunities for play, preparation for procedures, teaching coping skills during procedures, emotional support, and therapeutic play to normalize the hospital experience. Our staff is a part of the healthcare team to advocate for your child’s experience.
Certified Child Life Specialists are educated and clinically trained in the developmental impact of illness and injury. Their role helps improve patient and family care, satisfaction, and overall experience. Infants, children and youth confront a wide variety of stressful and potentially traumatic events that can impact their ability to cope. These experiences related to healthcare can lead to feelings of fear, confusion, loss of control and isolation that can inhibit their development and have negative effects on their physical and emotional health and well-being. In both healthcare and community settings, Certified Child Life Specialists help infants, children, youth and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of acute and chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, loss and bereavement. They provide evidence-based, developmentally and psychologically appropriate interventions including therapeutic play, preparation for procedures, and education to reduce fear, anxiety, and pain.
For more information about Child Life, please visit: https://www.childlife.org/
Child Life Volunteers assist with the implementation of the Child Life program. As a primary function of the Child Life program, the playroom offers an opportunity for patients and families to engage in developmentally appropriate activities, while providing an opportunity for socialization. Play allows freedom of choice, fosters creativity, diverts patients from stress and worry, and normalizes their environment. Child Life Volunteers are utilized to supervise playroom activities, while interacting with patients and families. Child Life Volunteers will also assist Child Life staff with escorting patients to other locations of the hospital for special programming, or perhaps interact with patients at the bedside.