What patients and families need to know
Child Life Services
At Children’s National Hospital, our Certified Child Life Specialists help create a positive experience for families during their child’s outpatient visit or inpatient hospital stay. Our team is specially trained and certified to help children, adolescents and families understand and cope with illness, treatment and hospitalization. We promote positive coping through play, self-expressive activities, age-appropriate medical preparation and education. These activities help both children and families gain a greater understanding of medical procedures, which helps to reduce stress and fear of the unknown.
What Child Life Specialists Offer
Child Life Specialists provide psychological preparation for medical procedures, as well as emotional support before, during and after treatment. Child Life Specialists also provide developmentally appropriate activities and therapeutic play experiences to minimize stress and anxiety. Child Life Services is responsible for the management of play spaces, unit playrooms and teen rooms. In addition, our team provides games, toys and small electronics and also helps celebrate important milestones such as patient birthdays, end of treatment and discharges.
Watch our video on Child Life Services to better understand how we serve our patients and families. We also encourage you to read about the programs and services, annual events and training programs that our Child Life Specialists provide to patients, families and staff:
For more information about Child Life Services, contact us at 202-476-8939. The team is available Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Donations of toys, clothing and books are accepted through our Volunteer Services donation team to make our patients' hospital stays feel a little more like home. Monetary donations are accepted as well.
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How Child Life Specialists Help Patients at Children's National
Watch how child life specialists help ease the anxiety of patients and their families at Children's National.Watch