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.
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
Surgery can be a scary experience for children and their parents. That’s why Child Life offers tours before surgery day for kids 3-18 years of age. The tour helps families see and learn what to expect the day of surgery, from check-in to recovery. To schedule a tour, call Child Life at 904.202.8541.
All About Me Form
Complete this form and bring it with you so we can get to know your child and any special needs.
MR-I Am Ready!
We are one of the few hospitals in the nation offering the MR-I Am Ready! program, designed to help children complete an MRI without sedation. This means less wait time for scheduling an MRI, resulting in faster test results and no anesthesia-related risks and side effects. Children as young as 4 years of age have completed the program.
Our team put together these simple stories you can read with your child to help prepare for their hospital visit.
How You Can Help Your Child in the Hospital
Suggestions for parents from our Child Life team.
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.
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.
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.
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 that you 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 problems scheduling an appointment, call the Child Life Department at 904.202.8548.