Child Life Services

About Child Life Services

Talking to children about their cancer or blood disorder can be difficult, especially if your child is scared or afraid of the doctors office. Our child life specialists know how to speak to our patients at an age-appropriate level so they know what to expect.

There is more to cancer treatment than just medicine

Child life programs in healthcare aim to minimize the impact that cancer and blood disorders have on a family. Our child life specialists believe that there is more to cancer treatment than just medicine. The impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on a child can be very upsetting and frightening. Therefore, it is very important that families seek to maintain their normal lifestyle as much as possible, which helps to minimize emotional trauma in a family. Child life specialists help patients at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers by reducing the stress and anxiety that many children and adolescents experience in hospital and healthcare settings. Children often get upset when undergoing treatment, but there are ways to reduce stress on a child during these times.

Reduce stress during a difficult time

Childhood development theories show that child life programs can reduce the stress experienced by children and families, while enhancing their ability to cope with potentially stressful situations. Development, play, stress, coping, and family structure are the basis for child life practice. In addition, child life specialists collaborate with members of the child's treatment team, including doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, social workers, and other representatives from pediatric healthcare.

Services

  • Developmentally appropriate preparation for tests, surgeries, and other procedures
  • Diagnosis education
  • Medical play using teaching dolls, stuffed animals and medical equipment
  • Support to siblings who are affected by a child’s illness or trauma
  • Support for grief and bereavement concerns
  • School re-entry program
  • Our Child Life professionals:
    1. supervise therapeutic medical and diversional play;
    2. prepare children for and assist children during medical tests and procedures through education, rehearsal, and coping skill development; and
    3. support families during hospitalization or challenging events. Child life professionals support a philosophy of family centered care in healthcare facilities.