Children’s HealthSM Children’s Medical Center
Child Life Program
Hospitalizations, chronic conditions, and medical treatments and procedures can be scary and stressful for a child; likewise, having a child who is hospitalized or in need of chronic care can be extremely challenging for a family. Established in 1974, the Child Life department at Children’s HealthSM Children’s Medical Center has tended to the psychological, emotional and social needs of children and their families for 40 years. When children are hospitalized, it is important that they are treated as children, rather than just as patients. Child Life services help children cope with the hospital environment and their medical situations and provide appropriate outlets for expressing feelings and anxieties. Specialists in the department facilitate various programs and activities to meet the many needs of patients and families, such as support groups, holiday parties, an art program, music therapy, field trips and teddy bear clinics to help children understand diagnoses and upcoming procedures. Child life specialists provide emotional support for patient siblings and they educate parents on how to promote normal development of their child while in the hospital and when transitioning home. By providing education and advocacy on behalf of the child, they also help patients, fellow classmates and teachers adjust when a patient returns to school following hospitalization or treatment.
Children’s Medical Center Foundation
The part of the money raised by Les Femmes du Monde goes to helping provide dolls, such as this one, for the children who will be undergoing treatment at Children’s Medical Center. Patients are able to use the dolls as a way to act out the procedures that they will undertake; for example, they can draw where their central line may go or even where their heart or kidneys are located. As a result, these dolls help patients understand the medical procedures that they require as part of their treatment at Children’s Medical Center.