434.243.5500
Call Us

434.243.5500

Make an Appointment

Use our form

    

Children's Hospital
Google Search Children's Hospital
Home > Patients & Families > Support Services > Child Life Program

Child Life Program

The hospital can be an unfamiliar and frightening experience for any child. Our child life specialist (CLS) is a trained professional who helps children and families cope with their healthcare experiences and ease their fears and confusion.

Through opportunities for play, education, self-expression, creativity and socialization, the child life specialist can engage children in vital, everyday activities of childhood.

Our goal is to help children understand their illness and treatment, which hopefully reduces their anxiety and helps their cooperation. Positive experiences also help children feel a sense of control and make life as normal as possible for them.

Child Life Services We Provide

  • Family support to help adjust to the hospital
  • Medical play to help children get more familiar with medical equipment and procedures and encourage them to express their feelings
  • Coping support, relaxation training and distraction during procedures
  • Sibling visits to help brothers and sisters understand why their sibling is in the hospital
  • Coordination of special celebrations such as birthdays and holidays
  • Activities to help bridge the gap between home and the hospital
  • Psychological preparation to help patients and siblings understand and cope with healthcare experiences
  • Emotional support and coping techniques, such as guided imagery, deep breathing and diversion
  • Palliative care and bereavement support