Child Life Specialist

We understand that children of all ages may face stressful and potentially traumatic events that can prevent their natural ability to cope and heal. Situations related to hospitalization and healthcare can cause feelings of fear, confusion, loss of control, and isolation. These feelings can reduce a child’s natural development and cause negative effects on their physical and emotional health.

A Child Life Specialist is a trained expert in helping children and their families through the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, and hospitalization. They are focused on helping our young patients and the children/siblings of our patients, understand and manage the stress that comes with being in the hospital, as well as support their emotional and developmental needs.

Child life specialists have earned a bachelor's or master's degree with an educational emphasis on human growth and development or a related field of study. They adhere to a code of ethics and standards established by the Child Life Council, a professional organization that also administers the rigorous process for obtaining the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential. All certified child life specialists must complete a supervised clinical internship, pass an examination, and adhere to standards for continuing professional development in order to maintain their certification.

Our Child Life Program provides:

  • Preparation for medical procedures or treatment.
  • Coping strategies to help reduce anxiety and enhance cooperation with the healthcare team.
  • Support and distraction during medical procedures.
  • Support and education for siblings of a newborn hospitalized in the NICU.