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Child Life Services

Child Life Services

The health care environment can bring about many new and sometimes stressful experiences for both children and families. As part of the hospital team, our child life specialists are here to support children and families through this experience. Certified child life specialists (CCLS) have college degrees in areas similar to child development, psychology, education or therapeutic recreation. A CCLS combines play with education to explain medical procedures and provide therapeutic opportuni¬ties to explore the hospital environment.

How Can Child Life Specialists Support Your Family During a Hospital Experience?

  • Minimize fear and stress experienced by children, teens and their families throughout their hospital experiences
  • Support the patient's emotional, social and cognitive growth in the context of his or her family, culture and developmental stage
  • Encourage developmentally appropriate therapeutic play activities
  • Engage and energize children and families by coordinating special events, entertainment and activities
  • Encourage understanding and cooperation by preparing children for medical procedures and diagnoses using developmentally specific language and teaching tools
  • Offer pre-procedural tours (radiology and surgery) to help patients and families become more familiar with the hospital setting
  • Assist patients and families in emergency situations and unplanned visits to the hospital
  • Provide support for families and siblings who may be affected by a diagnosis, illness, trauma or grief
  • Support parents and caregivers by encouraging their participation in their child's health care
  • Provide education and resources for parents and family members