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Child Life Program

Child Life Program

When children are hospitalized it can be a frightening experience for the child and the family. The University of Florida at Shands Jacksonville offers a Child Life Program to help children cope and adjust during their stay in the hospital. The mission of the program is to comfort and educate. The program dedicates resources to reduce the stressful or emotionally traumatic impact of hospitalization as it relates to the development, health, and well-being of pediatric-aged patients and their families.

Inpatient Services

Medically fragile pediatric, neonatal, and Level I trauma patients are treated in the inpatient pediatric units. The Child Life Program plans and implements therapeutic activities that promote normal growth and development during a hospital stay. Coping skill education, procedural preparation and support, medical play, expressive arts, and socialization are used to encourage patient and family comfort. An expedited healing process and improved patient wellbeing are benefits of Child Life care.

Pediatric Emergency Department Services

When emergent services are required to treat illness and injury, the Child Life Program helps children and families manage the stress of their condition. Developmentally friendly activities include education, support, and normalization of activities and the environment. Knowledge, diversion, and distraction assist children in understanding and adapting to their medical care. The benefits of Child Life care include increased patient cooperation with their treatment plan and improved patient satisfaction.