What is Child Life?

The Child Life profession is dedicated to lessening the anxiety and stress a child experiences when faced with hospitalization, illness or disability. When practiced, child life can turn a hospital into an environment where:

  • Children and families do not suffer undue stress and trauma
  • The child’s emotional wellbeing is considered in the care plan
  • Children are provided opportunities for expression and exploration
  • The child and family are empowered
  • Optimal physical healing occurs

In a hospital environment, Child Life is applied and taught by Child Life Specialists, pediatric healthcare professionals certified in Child Life. The specialist works to incorporate coping strategies into the child’s care plan. Those strategies may include:

  • Preparing children for procedures through age-appropriate language and medical play
  • Pain management
  • Promoting play, expression and exploration activities

Child Life also promotes providing information, support and guidance to parents, siblings and other caregivers or family members.