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To a child, the hospital is a strange place filled with unfamiliar sights and sounds. For many children, a common reaction to hospitalization is to become quiet and withdrawn or out of control and uncooperative. The Child Life Specialists provide expressive activities to encourage children to share their thoughts and feelings about their hospital experience.
Promoting Positive Coping Skills
Being a child or family in the hospital is stressful, and it can often be difficult to cope with a particular procedure, diagnosis, or just with the hospital environment in general. This may be due to the loss of control, a fear of the unknown or of dealing with painful events. The Child Life Specialists use a variety of techniques to assist with coping by increasing the child's and family's sense of control. Sometimes, something as simple as blowing bubbles or having a favorite toy helps make the hospital a little less scary and the procedure a little bit easier.
We also provide hands-on play opportunities with medical equipment and supplies. This helps to reduce the fear of the unknown, encourage patients to express their feelings associated with the hospital and/or diagnosis and treatment and help them gain a sense of control. The Child Life Specialists teach children about various tests, procedures and surgeries and correct any misconceptions the children might have.
Infant Care Class
All of our Child Life Specialists are trained to provide infant care classes for parents. These classes provide information and resources involving infant growth and development, feeding, bathing, illness and safety. It is our goal to assist parents in promoting good health and normal growth and development for their babies.
Teaching and Preparation
Child Life Specialists strive to help patients and families reduce the stress that accompanies the hospitalization of a child. They accomplish this by providing patients and families with coping mechanisms and imparting knowledge to the child in ways that he or she can understand. Through their specialized training, Child Life Specialists become experts in anticipating the needs and concerns of children in the medical environment, Our teaching and preparation include: escorting families on pre-admission tours, explaining procedures and diagnoses in child-friendly terms, and supporting patients by providing alternative focus during procedures.