Play allows children the opportunity to learn. In play, children find a safe and
comfortable way to cope with what they are experiencing. Play helps children stabilize
their heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure. While play works as an effective
educational tool, it also provides a distraction from pain and discomfort.
The playroom, Castle Roundtree, and patient bedsides provide the environments for
play. Activities may include exploration of medical supplies, the creative use of
art, and normal recreational experiences. These interactions build understanding,
dispel myths, enhance self-esteem, and encourage expression.
Understanding the developmental issues of each child is critical to helping patients
and their families emotionally adjust to medical care. Developmental support services
help children cope with their anxiety and fear. Worry and concern about medical
care may be accompanied with unusual reactions. The Child Life Specialist uses a
developmental framework to establish treatment plans that are sensitive to a child's
wellbeing. For information on common developmental issues and how to provide support,
With notice, Child Life can educate children about upcoming medical procedures.
Learning activities assist children in realizing their own potential to cope. Adaptive
education on building coping skills is featured. Sensory stimulation, imagery, and
diversion techniques are offered during presentations. All education is individually
tailored and developmentally appropriate. Sample preparations may include laboratory
tests, radiological procedures, and surgery.
Emotional and Social Support
Seeing illness or injury through a child's eyes...
Ill children may use the following phrases to describe how they feel:
- "I don't feel good."
- "I have to go the bathroom all the time."
- "My body won't work right."
- "What is that smell?"
- "I hurt!"
- "I'm sad."
- "I'm lonely."
- "The kids will think I am ugly."
- "I'm scared."
Approaching children from their own unique perspectives provides the basis for supportive
Child Life care. Child Life helps children relate what they know to what is happening
to them. Activities that assist children in gaining a sense of control may consist
of patient escort during procedures, family advocacy, and group interactions.