Child life specialists help children and families cope with stress
in the hospital or medical setting. Child life specialists use medical explanations, play,
and teaching materials to help ease anxiety and prepare children and
families for hospital stays, surgery, and other procedures.
Child life specialists understand the emotional and developmental needs of
children dealing with stress and trauma. They hold bachelor's or master's degrees in child life,
child development, or related fields, and have completed a minimum of a
480-hour internship and a written exam for certification. Their
experience and education help them answer questions about child growth
and development, ways children cope, and reactions to being in a
The profession's tools of the trade include
everything from lip balm-scented face masks and bubbles to explanations
about an upcoming procedure that a child can understand. During
“medical play,” a child life specialist might help a child give an IV
to a puppet in order to show how the straw-like tube delivers medicine
to the body. In an operating room, they might show a patient how
changing his breathing can make the numbers and lines on the monitor
beside him fluctuate.
To contact the Child Life Program at Children's Hospital,
call 864-455-7846 or email email@example.com.