Child Life brings normalcy, play to patients

playing in the hospital

When children are in the hospital, whether it’s for a simple outpatient procedure or a long-term hospital stay, they need more than medical care. They need to understand what is happening and they need the chance to be in control, even if it’s just over how much green paint they slather over a picture. Child Life specialists are trained to provide the social and emotional support children need as they receive treatment. Sometimes it’s playing iPad games while a child gets an IV inserted for an imaging procedure. Other times, it’s explaining, with a medical play doll, how a central line is placed into their chest. Often, it’s providing the developmentally needed play opportunities that the child directs. Watch this video by Democrat and Chronicle photographer Tina Yee to see Child Life specialists in action.

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