The Child Life Department at Dell Children’s Medical Center is staffed by professionally trained individuals who help to reduce the stress and anxiety that children and their families may encounter as a result of illness, injury and hospitalization.  Aiming to create a more positive learning experience, child life staff work closely with the entire health care team on every inpatient unit and in outpatient areas to provide the highest quality care for children of all ages.

Services Provided by Child Life

  • Play and other activities in fully-equipped playrooms and at the bedside
  • Education about medical diagnoses and treatment; age-appropriate preparation for tests, procedures and surgeries (including pre-op tours)
  • Relaxation training, distraction and coping support before and during medical procedures
  • Therapeutic play, including medical play, to help children express fears and feelings and learn techniques for coping with stress or crisis
  • Expressive Therapies (art therapy, music therapy, and play therapy)
  • Family member support (such as sibling orientation for intensive care unit visits, support for parents to assist their children during medical procedures)
  • School referrals and educational support for patients who will miss
  • School visits for children returning to school with a chronic illness
  • Support groups to provide opportunities for patients and/or siblings to develop friendships with others facing similar challenges (such as the “Hungry Bunch Teen Program”)
  • Coordination of community events, parties and seasonal celebrations

To contact the child life specialist assigned to various units or clinics in the hospital, or for information about any of these services, please contact the Child Life Department at (512) 324-0146.