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Coming to our medical center, whether for a stay, a day surgery or ongoing treatment at one of our specialty clinics can feel overwhelming and even scary to our young patients. Children and teens of all ages can feel stressed or worried during their visit. The unfamiliar environment, loss of control, fear of pain and lack of routine are among the most common anxieties young patients feel during a health care encounter. The Child Life specialists at Cook Children’s are here to help.
Our Child Life specialists offer your child and your family an opportunity to express and work through any fears and concerns you may have. We’ll provide an explanation about what’s going to happen during your visit and work with parents, brothers and sisters and other family members who may be involved in your child’s daily care. As a part of our commitment to family-centered care, Child Life specialists work with your child's medical team to advocate for and ensure your child’s and your family's needs are addressed in the most nurturing atmosphere possible.
Access our Child Life services:
Select a service
Camps for kids
CARPE (Creative Artist in Residence Programme)
Child Life student opportunities
Child Life team
Child Life student opportunities
Child Life Zone
Sib2Sib sibling support program
Youth Advisory Council (YAC-PAC)
The Child Life program at Cook Children’s offers a variety of services, all designed to make your experience at Cook Children’s the best it can be. Our services include educating, preparing and supporting your child through tests and procedures, as well as coping with any life challenges you and your child may face. Our Child Life specialists and activity coordinators also provide meaningful play and recreational opportunities for patients and siblings visiting the hospital to promote growth, development and some much needed fun. Best of all, the services are available for free. Child Life services include, but aren't limited to:
Play is serious business at Cook Children's for patients of all ages, as well as brothers and sisters—and parents too. Child Life staff provide play opportunities to:
Play can bring comfort and joy to a child facing the difficult challenges of a hospital stay, illness or injury. Through play, children express fear and anxiety, share their misconceptions, learn and practice skills and roles and explore solutions to problems.
Play opportunities are available in the playrooms found on each inpatient unit, or can be brought to the bedside of children and young people who aren't able to leave their rooms. If your child is an inpatient at Cook Children's, contact your Child Life specialist or activity coordinator via our GetWell Network service.
Many of our specialty clinics also have Child Life specialists available, and all Cook Children's patients visiting the medical center are welcome in the
Child Life Zone as long they have their doctor's approval.
Volunteers play a crucial role in supporting the Child Life program within the medical center’s inpatient and specialty clinic areas. Child Life volunteers engage in appropriate developmental play and activities with patients at the bedside, inpatient playrooms and specialty clinic waiting areas. Child Life volunteers also assist with the important role of toy cleaning in order to eliminate the chance of infection. Child Life volunteers partner with our Child Life staff to help make a stay at Cook Children’s more comfortable for our patients and their siblings and families.
Are you interested in becoming a Child Life volunteer? Learn more about volunteering and submit an application.
To contact a Child Life specialist, call 682-885-4048.
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