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Child life

Child life

Child life specialists are an important part of the Shriners Hospitals for Children team. With their understanding of child development, child life specialists work to ensure that life remains as normal as possible for kids when they spend time at the hospital. They help kids cope through play, self-expressive activities, and age-appropriate medical preparation and education.

Support for more than just the patient

Child life specialists are advocates for family-centered care. Families should think of our child life specialists as their partners in navigating the hospital experience. Child life specialists work with our doctors, nurses, social workers and others to meet the unique emotional, developmental, and cultural needs of each child and family.

A child life specialist can help families in many ways:

  • Help ease a child's fear and anxiety through therapeutic and recreational play activities or through encouraging healthy expression of feelings
  • Encourage a child's cooperation with and understanding of a medical procedure
  • Make a child’s time with us feel special by providing special events, entertainment and activities
  • Help foster a supportive environment
  • Help the patient's siblings understand and cope
  • Engage with a child and distract them during a quick procedure like casting with play, tablet devices and jokes
  • Help demystify the hospital experience with games and medical play

Child life specialists: