Child Life Services

Child Life services are available at Willis-Knighton South & the Center for Women’s Health, which is home to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit as well as pediatric subspecialists.  The Child Life Department works with staff as part of the multidisciplinary team dedicated to providing comfort and emotional support, while relieving stress and anxiety during times of difficulty.

A child life specialist offers educational, therapeutic and, developmental interventions and support to children and families as they adjust to hospitalization. Willis-Knighton is passionate about the health of our young patients and this is one way we demonstrate our concern for the healing and well-being of children.

Child life specialists can help your child cope and adjust in circumstances that might otherwise be overwhelming, promoting a positive healing and learning environment for your child.

Services offered by child life specialists

  • Procedure preparation in language your child can understand
  • Relaxation promotion, coping and distraction skills before, during and after medical procedures or surgeries.
  • For long-term illnesses, injury and/or death, aid in coping skills education to help through difficult times.
  • Emotional support for patients, families and siblings during stressful experiences.
  • Therapeutic play to help your child express emotion, resolve distress and facilitate coping during hospitalization.
  • Providing opportunities for play in the activity room and other activity areas or at your child’s bedside.
  • Educating parents and caregivers about child development and response to hospitalization.
  • Normalizing the hospital environment through coordination of community events, parties and seasonal celebrations designed for children and families

When is child life involvement appropriate?

  • My child is nervous about or has questions about an upcoming procedure or test.
  • My child needs help coping during a procedure or test.
  • My child’s sibling has concerns about the hospital.
  • My child has had a traumatic experience.
  • My child is having difficulty coping with hospital or doctor visits.
  • My child has a long-term condition or was just diagnosed with one.
  • I have questions about my child’s developmental needs.
  • I need suggestions for talking to my child about his or her hospital experience.