to the hospital can be very stressful for anyone. This time
can be especially stressful for children. They may experience
fear, confusion, and unfamiliarity. Children need to understand
what is happening to them. With the help of a child life specialist,
children can master these feelings through play, education
A child’s illness and/or hospitalization can cause
upset to the whole family. Families face many fears and concerns
when caring for an ill child. A child life specialist provides
a supportive relationship for families to assist their ability
||A child life specialist
has a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent
education) in child life, child development or a related
field of study. The Child Life Council offers professional
certification. Certification validates professional knowledge
Students and volunteer are members of the child life program.
The child life specialist co-ordinates and supervises their
- Assess responses of children and families to healthcare
- Assist children and families cope with health care experiences.
- Assist children to cope and understand illness.
- Prepare child/parent for procedures or surgery.
- Promote medical play to assist coping with healthcare experiences.
- Provide support during procedures/pain management.
- Address developmental issues/concerns.
- Facilitate play and social opportunities.
- Facilitate self-esteem, independence and ongoing development.
- Provide supportive relationships for children and families.
- Co-ordinate support for children when a caregiver is
- Provide emotional support during times of stress.
For further information on the Child Life Profession visit
Child Life Specialist (CCLS)
Maternal Child Services
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
980 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Phone: (807) 684-6521