For Patients and Families
Child Life Specialists
Child life specialists enhance patients' emotional, social and cognitive growth during a hospital stay, giving special consideration to each child's family, culture and stage of development.
Child life specialists use developmental interventions and play to help patients and families adjust to and understand the hospital and their medical situation.
As professionals trained to work with children in medical settings, each specialist holds a bachelor's or master's degree in the areas of child life, child development, special education or recreation therapy. Many child life specialists are also professionally certified and affiliated with the national Child Life Council.
- Helps patients develop ways to cope with fear, anxiety, separation and adjustment to the hospital experience.
- Provides consultation to the health care team regarding developmental and psychosocial issues.
- Provides preparation and individualized support before and after medical procedures.
- Facilitates developmentally appropriate play, including medical play, at the bedside, in activity rooms and in clinic areas.
- Initiates tutoring services.
Questions may arise about a child's behavior and adjustment to home or school after they have been in the hospital. Child life specialists are available to help families with these issues. We offer:
- "Back-to-school" programs, on referral, following a patient's extended hospital stay
- Resources tailored to meet your child's needs
- Suggestions to ease transition and recovery
Visit Activities for Patients for more information about activities provided by child life specialists.
Office of Child Life Services
Location: Fegan Basement, Room 049
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Spotlight: Child Life Specialists
Bob Nilson's cartoons have appeared in the New Yorker and Esquire, but they're most commonly displayed in patients' rooms throughout Boston Children's Hospital, where he has been a volunteer caricaturist for 14 years...