Child Life services
Our Child Life specialists work with kids and families to make their visits to the medical center easier and more comfortable.
Going to the hospital can feel overwhelming and even scary to young patients. Children and teens can feel stressed or worried in the unfamiliar environment. Loss of control, fear of pain and lack of routine are among the most common anxieties young patients feel during health care visits. That's why our Child Life specialists are here to help.
Child Life services
Cook Children's Child Life program offers a variety of services, all designed to make your experience at Cook Children's the best it can be. Our services include educating, preparing and supporting your child through tests and procedures, as well as helping you to cope with any life challenges your family may face. Our Child Life specialists and activity coordinators also provide meaningful play and recreational opportunities for patients and siblings visiting the medical center to promote growth, development and some much-needed fun.
Best of all, the Child Life services are available for free. They include, but aren't limited to:
- Activities and toys for families to engage in while they are in their hospital room.
- Developmentally appropriate teaching about diagnosis, treatments and life changes.
- Opportunities to desensitize and explore real medical equipment through play (medical play).
- Preparation for medical exams, procedures and surgeries.
- Assistance with coping strategies, distraction and/or support during stressful events.
- Support to siblings and other family members visiting a patient.
- Celebration of birthdays, milestones, holidays and essential life experiences.
- Child Life Zone is a treatment-free fun zone where kids, teens and family members can go for games, art, music, reading and relaxing.
- CARPE (Creative Artist in Residence Programme) connects patients to the art of healing through creative expression.
- Provide information about hospital amenities.
Child Life Zone
The Child Life Zone is a state-of-the-art environment that offers games, art, music, creativity and imagination as therapy to help kids feel better.
A treatment-free zone
The Child Life Zone is the one place at Cook Children's where patients can go to just be kids, even if only for a little while. It is a safe area within the medical center where children are free from the anxiety of needles and procedures. All the staff here are part of the Cook Children's care team, and because it's in the medical center, the medical team is always nearby.
Child Life Zone amenities
- Recording studio
- Broadcast studio
- Zone Central – a central gathering area for patients and their families
- Ray's Kitchen
- The Flip Side – a game room for older patients
- Bomar Library/Matustik Family Health Library
- Family Business Center
- Activities and events
Creative Artist in Residence Programme (CARPE)
CARPE offers opportunities for expression and control through a variety of artistic media. Through painting, music, writing, dance, theatre and other artistic exploration, patients and families at Cook Children's connect the creative arts with the art of healing.
CARPE is designed to provide a variety of expressive outlets to encourage increased communication and expression of feelings, as well as a sense of connection and support. Participation in an expressive art form can help reduce fear and anxiety, encourage self-discovery, manage pain and assist with rehabilitation. We encourage patient and family participation in our programming to enhance the overall health care experience.
What we offer
- Therapeutic art
- Music therapy
- Creative dramatics and movement
- Art displays
There's something wonderful in the sound of a child's laughter. That's why we offer Funnyatrics, a therapeutic medical clown program. Our professional clowns use humor and laughter to help our patients in their healing.
Our therapeutic clowns work in teams of two, and their focus is to connect with your child and family using humor to distract, empower and bring some much-needed joy. They also can encourage your child to walk, eat, take medicine or simply bring a smile on a tough day.
Benefits of laughter
- Reduce pain
- Lower blood pressure
- Relax muscles
- Reduce stress hormones
- Build up your immune system
A dog's healing presence is known to have a positive influence on wellness. That's the driving force behind Sit...Stay...PLAY, the resident dog program at Cook Children's.
Petting a dog can help your child–and your family members–feel more at ease by reducing stress and anxiety. At Cook Children's, we have professionally trained therapy dogs on our staff that can:
- Provide a different focus from illness symptoms, pain and medical treatment.
- Offer unconditional love and acceptance.
- Motivate and support patients coping through encouragement.
- Reduce anxiety by providing physical contact and a soft touch.
- Improve fitness by encouraging exercise.
- Promote social interaction.
- Reduce feelings of loss and loneliness for patients who are missing home and family.
Each therapy dog is bathed weekly and groomed bi-weekly (nails trimmed, teeth brushed, ears cleaned, etc.)
Request Child Life services?
To request one of the above services, contact a Child Life specialist at +1-682-885-4048.