We understand that a hospital stay or visit can be challenging for children and their families. Sutter Health hospitals offer Child Life Programs to support the needs of our patients and their whole families. Child Life Specialists are trained in child development and family dynamics to help patients (children) and families cope with the potential stressors associated with hospitalization and illness. Our child life teams serve children and their families during a hospital stay, through surgery, and during visits to the emergency department.
Child Life Specialists are child development experts trained to:
- Prepare children for medical procedures or treatment using developmentally appropriate language and play to help children understand.
- Promote attachment and development for infants, children and teens.
- Provide support and distraction during medical procedures.
- Offer opportunities for play and expressive activities to encourage development, coping and a sense of fun in spite of challenging circumstances.
- Introduce coping strategies to help reduce anxiety and support positive coping.
- Support the entire family unit through their healthcare experience.