Child Life Program

Health care can be a confusing and frightening environment for a child. Our Child Life Specialist seeks to ease fear by familiarizing children, adolescents (through age 18) and their families with the hospital or clinic setting through exploration and play. The Child Life Program offers:

  • Age appropriate leisure activities to minimize anxiety and provide a home-like atmosphere.
  • Bereavement activities and events for children who experience a death of a loved one

  • Services throughout the healthcare system. Some of the areas Child Life services are commonly found include: Women and Children's Unit, Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, Radiology, Pediatric Clinic, Same Day Surgery, and Critical Care/Oncology

  • Distraction and support for catheters, lab draws, IV starts, dressing changes, and other procedures

  • Preparation, preoperative tours and education for patients and siblings to help them cope with upcoming healthcare experiences.

  • Education to help children understand the diagnosis and treatment for loved ones admitted to the critical care units and Altru Cancer Center.
  • Emotional support and coping techniques such as relaxation, diversion and deep breathing.
  • Encouragement for teenagers to take an active role in their medical experience.
  • Special events to reinforce normalcy, including holiday celebrations and special visitors.

Pediatrics can participate in a variety of activities. Volunteers help our child life specialist create an environment that supports the emotional needs of children under staff supervision.

Child Life Blog Posts