Child Life and Animal Assistance

Support for your child’s emotional well-being

Texas Children’s Hospital child life specialists can help you and your child prepare for a visit and ease fears about medical procedures. Our specialists explain procedures in a kid-friendly way and keep children calm through creative interventions, such as toys, music and special breathing techniques.

We understand that having a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can be scary for a child, especially when they’ve never had one before. That’s why we use strategies to help address your child’s anxiety. For some children, we use a specialized MRI audio video system with movie goggles to make them feel comfortable and reduce anxiety. For infant and toddlers, we suggest scheduling appointments during naptime in an attempt to have the MRI scan performed while sleeping.

Animal-assisted therapy

Animal-assisted therapy is another strategy Texas Children’s has designed to enhance the emotional well-being of children and families in the hospital. The therapy dogs provide support to those who may be having trouble coping with a hospital stay, new diagnosis or medical procedure.