Department of Pediatrics and Child Healt shows a large polar bear in the background with 4 stripes of colour, and a smaller bear superimposed in the foreground, also with 4 stripes of colour. The title Department of Pediatrics and Child Health , Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada is placed to the right of the image. The logo represents the Winnipeg Children's Hospital

Child Life Specialists

A clinic appointment, medical procedure, or hospital stay can be a stressful and traumatic experience for patients and families. Our team can help. Child Life Specialists are educated and clinically trained to support the developmental needs of hospitalized children.

Certified Child Life Specialists help infants, children, youth and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of acute and chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, loss and bereavement. We provide evidence-based, developmentally appropriate interventions which help to reduce pain, fear, and anxiety.  Direct patient care plans can include:

  • helping prepare children for tests and procedures
  • offering play opportunities and patient opportunities for peer socialization
  • teaching coping methods to use during medical procedures and hospitalization
  • support before, during and/or after stressful events such as medical procedures
  • therapeutic play: ways to express feelings and concern
  • helping to clarify any concerns about the intended treatment plan
  • support and education for parents and siblings to promote a family centered approach
  • coordination of holiday events, entertainment, and special visitors
  • coordinating with Inpatient Playroom and Child Life Programming

Child Life runs the following programs :

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