Child Life is More Than Play
To the casual observer, child life may seem like a lot of fun to pass the time in the hospital or clinic.
Play does help keep children occupied during long, difficult hours, but it has so much more value than simple fun.
Play is the language, university and business of childhood. Children learn, interact with their world and process their experiences through play.
Child Life cares for the whole child, and play is the best way to help children cope with their medical experiences.
Play is a diversion from the rigours of hospital. Play is a distraction during difficult procedures, and a learning tool to prepare the child so they can be involved with the procedure. Play helps carers assess a child’s emotional state, identify anxieties and fears, and teach coping skills.
In short, play helps the whole child heal!
Child life promotes effective coping through play, preparation, education and self-expression activities based on natural child development.
The links below highlight the developmental issues, stressors, and coping behaviours of each age group. Each page also summarizes the interventions, pain management and comforting techniques child life professionals and parents can use to support the child or teenager.
Supporting Neonates (0-30 days)
Supporting Infants (1-12 months)
Supporting Toddlers (1-3 years)
Supporting Preschoolers (3-5 years)
Supporting School Age Children (5-12 years)