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Child life specialists are part of our interdisciplinary team
Our child life and creative art therapy program offers a broad array of services to pediatric patients and their families. 

Our child life specialists are here for every child

Core activities include developmentally appropriate play, medical play and preparation, procedural support, art and music therapy, and a resource center. We also maintain a full agenda of special events for our young patients, including pet therapy, movies, arts and crafts, a hospital patient art gallery and a horticulture program.

With developmentally appropriate guidance of certified child life specialists, children are provided with various activities to help them learn about their illness, injury, medical/surgical procedures, hospital routines, and the medical team they will encounter during their stay. Children are given the opportunity to explore medical equipment, photo preparation books, and teaching dolls to help relieve any fears and concerns they may have. The child life staff members are available to provide comfort, support and accompany children during medical procedures and exams. 

Our professionals are trained in child development and in the specific issues of the medically ill child. They provide emotional support and a variety of play experiences to decrease fear and enhance understanding for pediatric patients. We recognize that children rely on their families for support, thus, parents, siblings and extended family members are also provided services for education and successful coping.

Interdisciplinary team

As part of the hospital’s interdisciplinary healthcare team, child life specialists work closely with the doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, case managers and social workers to provide the best comprehensive care available to each patient. 

There are currently child life and creative art therapy services on inpatient units including:

  • Adolescence
  • Medical
  • Surgical
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Pediatric Intensive Care and Neonatal Intensive Care

Outpatient units include:

  • Emergency Department
  • Hematology/Oncology Clinic
  • Ambulatory surgery
  • Presurgical testing
  • Eating Disorder Clinic
  • Radiology

Child life specialists work on these units, in the playrooms and at the bedside. Additional services are available by appointment. 

Become a child life specialist

At Cohen Children's, we offer child life and music therapy internship programs. For those training to become a child life specialist - learn more here, or those training to become a music therapist - learn more here.