What is Child Life?

Child Life is a field of study and practice in which individuals are trained in the areas of child development, play therapy, education and other related topics to work with children and families experiencing traumatic or emotionally stressful experiences. Child Life Specialists are most commonly found in hospitals and other healthcare settings. They work very closely with patients and families to ensure that their stay and/or experience in hospital and method of coping are positive.

Child Life Specialists are responsible for preparing patients for various medical diagnoses, treatment plans, and procedures. To do this, child life specialists use medical play, arts and crafts, and other methods of expressive therapies to ensure patients are comfortable, confident, and informed.

To me, child life is about more than just fun and games; it is a way for sick kids to open up and find a way to express themselves during a very scary time in their lives. It is an opportunity to find trust in an adult in an unfamiliar place and a way in which their voices will be heard.

To learn more about the wonderful world of child life, visit the Child Life Council. For information on child life in Canada, visit the Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders.

Got 5 minutes? Check out this wonderful video by the Child Life Council.

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