Welcome to Child Life Services 

Child Life Services believes that when children and youth face adversity, they have the potential to THRIVE. 

Child life specialists partner with children, youth and families to provide care that protects the emotional and social health of children.  Specialists use play to foster development and empower each patient and family to navigate and gain mastery over their health care experiences.  

Child life specialists are a part of your child’s health care team.  To support your child to THRIVE we provide:

  • Preparation for procedures and hospital visits by explaining medical procedures and what your child may see, hear, smell, taste, and feel while being in hospital
  • Create opportunities to explore and learn using “pretend” and/or actual medical equipment. This may increase your child’s comfort level and familiarity with medical care.
  • Provide developmentally appropriate education of diagnosis and medical-related tasks, like learning how to swallow pills or coping with needle pokes 
  • Support before, during and after procedures to teach and reinforce positive coping strategies such as deep breathing, distraction and relaxation
  • Provide opportunities to play; offer and adapt activities if your child is on bed rest and/or in isolation. 
  • Help children and their families understand their reactions and voice their concerns about their healthcare experience by providing accurate, honest information, and promoting emotional expression.
  • Offer support to family members such as siblings by helping them adjust to the hospital environment and understand health care experiences.