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The Importance of Child Life Specialists

The hospitalization of a child can be particularly stressful on the patient and the family. Children can be confused and uncomfortable in new surroundings. Parents often find that they don’t know the right way to manage their child’s overall hospital experience. That is where child life services and specialists are integral to understanding what a child needs to make it through their time spent receiving care away from home.

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“Child life specialists are child development experts who work to ensure that life remains as normal as possible for children in health care settings and other challenging environments,” says the Child Life Council. In hospitals, specialists work with kids to educate and prepare them for the various aspects of their medical treatment and help them through play and other activities to express their feelings. Along with doctors and nurses, these experts have an evidence-based intrinsic role as part of the total healthcare team — though they are often overlooked by the general public.

This month, Speak Now for Kids would like to recognize child life specialists and the important work they do to keep children and their families comfortable and in control when receiving treatment in hospitals. We urge you to visit http://www.childlife.org/ to read more about the importance of child life services and experts in hospital communities.

Photo source: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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