Child Life Services
The hospital environment can be a stressful and confusing place, especially for young people. The Child Life Specialists at Carle care for children, teens and families through education, support and normalization. These three aspects of Child Life's work can decrease anxiety in children and increase understanding and collaboration between the patient, family and healthcare team.
As part of Carle's dedication to provide family-centered care, Child Life Specialists can assist pediatric patient and siblings or children of adult patients in any area of the hospital. Child Life supports this approach by:
- Educating patients and families to help prepare for medical procedures
- Serving as a resource for child development and healthcare issues
- Empowering parents to work with the medical team in making decisions for their child
- Providing support and resources for grief and bereavement
- Providing opportunities for therapeutic play to children in the hospital
Providing accurate and honest information can help children experience less fear and greater understanding. Using age-appropriate language and explanations, Child Life Specialists help children build awareness about their condition and treatment.
Every healthcare experience has the potential to be stressful. Whether it's a simple blood pressure test or a surgical procedure, children can benefit from gentle encouragement and distraction. Child Life Specialists use reliable techniques to calm children and help them cope.
Children have a strong and innate urge to play. It's their work, their language and their coping mechanism. By enabling children to play in the healthcare setting, Child Life Specialists can assess what the child understands and how he or she is adjusting to the environment.
Accessing Child Life Services at Carle Foundation Hospital
Thanks to Carle's commitment to children and families, Child Life services are offered free of charge. Child Life Specialists support pediatric patients, siblings of patients, and children of adult patients who are in critical care. If you believe your child could benefit from this service, ask any healthcare professional to request a consultation with one of Carle's Certified Child Life Specialists.
We can be contacted by calling (217) 326-1929 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.