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Terry Duncan Child Life Specailist with Child hugging a bearChild Life

Location:

Child Life Services are available in the Paediatric Inpatient Units, the Paediatric Medical Day Unit, the Paediatric Day Surgery, the Operating Rooms, the Post Anaesthesia Care Unit, Paediatric Critical Care Unit, and Burns and Plastics Unit.

Contact:

Automated Telephone: 519-685-8368

Contents

Our Program

A hospital visit can sometimes be a scary and unfamiliar experience for infants, children, youth and families. It is often a source of tremendous stress and anxiety.

 

The Child Life program strives to meet the psychosocial needs of children and youth while being in the hospital by helping them adjust to and understand hospitalization, medical procedures, illness and injury.

 

The Child Life program strives to:

  • Promote optimum development of children and adolescents
  • Maintain normal living patterns
  • Help alleviate the stress and anxiety that children and their families may encounter as a result of the hospitalization/medical experience

Child Life Specialists

  • Help children and their families understand their reactions and concerns to the hospital experience by providing accurate and honest information.
  • Explain medical experiences and what you may see, hear, smell, taste and feel while being in the hospital.
  • Create opportunities to explore and cope with “pretend” and/or actual medical equipment. This may increase your comfort level and familiarity with medical care.
  • Help families select procedures, tests and exams that are most helpful during your health care experiences.
  • Suggest coping techniques for procedures such as distraction, deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
  • May be present during medical procedures and provide information about medical events.
  • Offer support to family members such as siblings by helping them adjust to the hospital environment and understand health care experiences.
  • Provide opportunities to play.
  • Offer and adapt activities when you are on bed rest and/or in isolation.
  • Coordinate holiday entertainment, special visitor events, and recognize significant events such as holidays and birthdays.
  • Design all play and activity areas so they are welcoming, safe and healthy.

What to Expect

The Child Life Specialists will use play, role-playing, teaching puppets and dolls to help make you feel more at ease while being at the hospital.

 

They will also help you understand complicated medical stuff in a way that is easy for your to understand, and help make the scary times a little easier.

Links & Resources

Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders is an association of child life leaders from across Canada.

Child Life Council is the professional organization for Child Life professionals.

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