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Comfort for the Entire Family

The Child Life Program at Riley Children’s Health uses therapeutic interventions to support kids during medical procedures, illnesses, and hospitalization.

Hero Child Life

Through donor funding, we work to enhance and sustain critical family support services such as Child Life.

Children learn socialization, communication and coping skills through play and interventions facilitated by knowledgeable, understanding Child Life specialists who care about their needs.

As certified professionals with advanced education in child life, child health, child development and/or related fields, Child Life specialists work closely with healthcare providers to serve the needs of Riley, including:

  • Medical play/preparation: helping children learn about their upcoming procedures and correct any misconceptions they may have. Using play and developmentally appropriate learning tools, they help children prepare for a procedure step-by-step.
  • Procedural support providing children and families practice coping skills during a procedure. Using various distraction techniques, Child Life specialists divert a child's attention from pain and lessen their anxiety. Each child has a unique set of preferences, from music and books to bubbles or toys.
  • Psychosocial and emotional support, helping children and families understand and express their feelings about the challenges of hospitalization and/or treatment.
  • Developmentally appropriate activities, encouraging creative expression and promote a sense of accomplishment by providing activities based on age, ability, interest and needs.

Child Life specialists work with children throughout the hospital, including inpatient units, outpatient clinics, surgery, radiology and Emergency Medicine.