Child Life Services

Play and family are important parts of a child's life. When a child becomes ill or injured, these normal activities and relationships are disrupted, often resulting in increased fear and stress. Child Life staff provides many opportunities to engage children in normal day-to-day activities, support their development and enhance their ability to cope with the hospital experience.

Certified Child Life Specialists

Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLSs) are bachelors or masters trained professionals with a certification in Child Life. All child life staff specializes in working with hospitalized children and understand the unique stressors that can accompany a hospital stay. CCLSs provide evidence-based, developmentally and psychologically appropriate interventions, including therapeutic play, preparation for procedures, and education that support and reduce fear, anxiety and pain for children, adolescents and families. They work in partnership with families, interdisciplinary healthcare teams and community professionals within the evolving healthcare system to meet the psychosocial, emotional, and development needs of children and adolescents.

How we can support your child:

Education and/or Preparation prior to a Healthcare Experience

  • Offering orientation to new experiences, such as admission to the intensive care unit or having a surgical procedure
  • Increasing familiarity with hospital surroundings and preparing children and families for medical experiences

Coping with a medical procedures and healthcare experiences

  • Working closely with the family and with the healthcare team to minimize the stress of a hospital or outpatient visit and to achieve healthcare goals
  • Providing leisure education and support for community re-entry

Play

  • Bridging the gap between home and hospital by providing familiar activities such as play, birthday and holiday observations
  • Providing age-appropriate play and other activities that encourage mastery, coping and expression of feelings for both patients and siblings of patients.

Sibling Support

Student Opportunities

  • Providing leisure education and support for community re-entry

Our programs

Play and family are important parts of a child's life. When a child becomes ill or injured, these normal activities and relationships are disrupted, often resulting in increased fear and stress. Child Life staff provides many opportunities to engage children in normal day-to-day activities, support their development and enhance their ability to cope with the hospital experience.

About our staff

Child Life specialists are bachelors or masters trained professionals with a certification in Child Life. All Child Life staff specializes in working with hospitalized children and understand the unique stressors that can accompany a hospital stay.

Donations

Find information about toy donations to the patients at CHOP or call our Toy Donation line at 267-426-8174.