Posted on 8/31/2011
For most children, hospital visits are not usually noted as being “fun experiences,” as they often entail being in a strange place with strange people, not feel well, and separation from family and friends for extended periods of time. Fortunately, there is Child Life. Child Life Specialists assist children and their families during a hospital stay. Here’s an overview of what these crucial members of the pediatric hospital team do:
- Child Life Specialists can help kids prepare for surgery or medical treatment by using toys or dolls to explain what will happen. They can also offer age-appropriate information and counseling for the child, and can help parents learn how to reassure their children about upcoming procedures.
- For kids, spending time in the hospital for medical care can be very boring. A Child Life Specialist has a wide assortment of games, toys, books, and movies for kids to enjoy during their time in the children's hospital. The excitement of looking forward to a new toy or game each day can take the edge off the boredom and reduce fear and discomfort.
- The Child Life Department also sets up activities involving other kids in the hospital. These may be group games, painting, storytelling, arts and crafts, or holiday celebrations. Many kids look forward to socializing with others their age, and their parents can get a well-deserved break for coffee or a snack while the kids play with their new friends.
- Visiting a sibling in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) can also be very scary for children. A Child Life Specialist can help prepare siblings for their first visit with the new baby, helping them be less afraid and resulting in a happier visit for the entire family.
At Sunrise Children's Hospital, we offer top-notch pediatric care, NICU services, and children's emergency care. Visit our website to learn more about Sunrise Children’s Hospital of Las Vegas, or contact our nurses 24 hours a day by phone at (702) 731-5437.