Child-Life Specialist

Support and Guidance for Kids

The Child-Life Department at North Central Baptist Hospital recognizes the impact that illness, injury, disability and hospitalization have on children's growth and development. For this reason, we offer child-life specialists who help prepare and support your child throughout their entire hospital experience, including all of your child’s tests and procedures.

Why Children Need Child-Life Specialists

Children today confront a wide variety of stressful and potentially traumatic events that may overwhelm their natural ability to cope and heal. Difficult or unexpected situations, such as chronic illness, hospitalization or the death of a loved one are just a few examples of experiences they may need help coping with. Children are particularly vulnerable to these stressful situations, and parents or other responsible adults may feel unsure of their ability to help their child successfully understand and manage.

That’s where our child-life specialists can help. Child-life specialists are trained professionals with special expertise in helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events.

Explore Our Services

Baptist’s Child-Life Program strives to minimize this impact chronic illness and hospital visits can have on children and families by:

  • Providing age-appropriate play, creative arts therapy and other activities that encourage mastery, coping and expression of feelings for your child and his or her siblings. Types of play might include:
    • Diversion/recreational play: commonly used for personal enjoyment, to combat boredom, and to facilitate normalization
    • Developmentally supportive play: supports any and all aspects of the child’s development
    • Therapeutic play: facilitates expression, coping and mastery of the healthcare experience and helps to facilitate achievement of healthcare goals
  • Increasing familiarity with hospital surroundings and preparing your child and family for medical experiences.
  • Developing supportive relationships with your child and family members.
  • Offering orientation to new experiences (such as admission to the intensive care unit or having a surgical procedure).
  • Bridging the gap between home and hospital by providing familiar activities (such as play, school, birthday and holiday observations).
  • Working closely with your family and with your child’s health care team to minimize the stress of a hospital or outpatient visit and to achieve healthcare goals.
  • Providing information, support and guidance to parents, siblings and other family members. Child-life specialists also educate caregivers, administrators and the general public about the needs of children under stress.

At North Central Baptist Hospital, we have designated play areas for patients and siblings to interact in, as well as a child-friendly play area located in the emergency room waiting area.

For more information on Child-life specialists and for more resources, visit ChildLife.org.

To Make a Donation

We do accept donations of new toys. Please contact the Child-Life Department at (210) 297-4083 for more information.