Child Life Program

Child Life Specialists

Child life specialists are trained professionals who help children cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability and hospitalization. They are a part of the health care team and focus on supporting the unique psychosocial, emotional and developmental needs of each child and family.

The child life specialists at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital are bachelors or masters trained and they maintain a nationally recognized certification in Child Life. We also have a child life assistant on our team who organizes daily activities and events in the playroom on our inpatient unit.

Child Life Services

Child life specialists collaborate with families and health care providers to provide interventions that aim to increase coping with health care experiences. Interventions include:

  • Preparation for medical procedures or treatments using developmentally appropriate language and teaching dolls
  • Providing support and distraction during medical procedures
  • Introducing and supporting effective coping strategies to assist with medical experiences

The care team at The Barbara Bush Children’s hospital values the importance of play in a child’s development. Our child life specialists provide developmentally appropriate opportunities for play and expressive activities. Play in the health care setting can include:

  • Diversional and recreational activities to help normalize the hospital environment and provide entertainment and distraction
  • Therapeutic play to facilitate self-expression, promote coping and support the achievement of healthcare goals
  • Medical play to promote coping and mastery of healthcare experiences

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of the child life team, please contact the child life supervisor at (207) 662-2424 or eshaughnes@mmc.org.

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