female child life specialist shows a young boy how a blood draw works using a doll

Child Life

Child Life specialists at Wolfson Children’s help kids understand what's happening and can ease fears through education, support and play.

Support for Kids

Our Child Life specialists are essential members of your child’s health care team. By easing stress and anxiety, they help kids gain a sense of control in the hospital environment.

child life specialist fits young girl in hospital bed with a face mask

How We Help

  • Reduce pain and anxiety during procedures through distraction and coping
  • Explain procedures and treatments in a way your child will understand
  • Offer activities to promote self-expression and coping and help make the hospital feel more friendly and comfortable
  • Ensure kids with autism or developmental delays have sensory toys and coping plans to meet their needs

Helping Children Prepare for a Hospital Visit

How You Can Help Your Child in the Hospital

Suggestions for parents from our Child Life team.

Music Therapy

Music has therapeutic benefits – from lowering stress and blood pressure to easing pain. Our music therapist customizes each session according to diagnosis, age and musical preference to create opportunities for patients to improve comfort and coping.

Helping Children with Special Needs during Lab Work

Learn more about our support and distraction techniques during blood draws and other lab work for kids with an autism spectrum disorder and other special needs.

Themed Playrooms

Our inviting, kid-friendly playrooms offer toys, games, arts and crafts and more for all ages. Each floor has a playroom decorated in a unique, fun theme.

Tim Tebow football themed playroom
two young hospital patients playing with a wooden train set
young boy looking around a space themed playroom
child life specialist next to a smiling pediatric patient in her hospital bed


The Child Life team is part of what makes Wolfson Children’s such a special place for kids. They work together with your child’s doctors, nurses and other caregivers to make the hospital experience as pleasant as possible.

Qualified Health Care Professionals

At Wolfson Children’s, Child Life specialists have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Child Life, Child Development, Child and Family Studies or a related field. The Association of Child Life Professionals provides professional certification for child life specialists (CCLS).

Interested in a Child Life Career?

Learn about our internship and practicum programs.

child life specialist hugging her therapy dog

Meet Jude

Jude is Wolfson Children’s Hospital’s first facility dog and the founding member of “Wolfie’s Woofpack.” Together with his handler, they provide support for patients and families in the hospital easing their fears through education, support and play.

Learn more
Child in hospital bed holding toy

Toy Donations

When a child is in the hospital, play is an important part of the healing process. With your help, we can make sure there are enough toys and activities for all of our patients, from infants to teens.

We encourage you to give through our online Amazon Wish List. You can also donate items from our Child Life Donation Wish List.

We appreciate your donation and ask you to drop off items at the designated bin outside our Wolfson Children's Borowy Critical Care Tower main entrance loop. For larger donations, please schedule an appointment. For any scheduling problems, call the Child Life Department at 904.202.8548.

Amazon Wish List