Children today confront a wide variety of stressful and potentially traumatic events that can overwhelm their natural ability to cope and heal. Experiences related to health care and hospitalization can lead to feelings of fear, confusion, loss of control, and isolation that can inhibit their natural development and have negative effects on their physical and emotional health.
HealthBridge Children’s Hospital Child Life Specialists help children and families cope with illness and hospitalization through play, medical education, and emotional support. Our Child Life Specialists have a strong background in human development and play. Their primary goal is to help make the hospital life more comfortable and easier to live with for our patients. We try to see the hospital through the eyes of our patients and adapt the environment to better meet their needs.
Fill out our contact form for more information or call 281 293-7774.
Child Life services at HealthBridge include:
Procedural preparation and support: We explain procedures step-by-step in child-friendly language with a playful approach. The goal is to reduce patient anxiety by eliminating the fear of the unknown and rehearsing coping strategies. We provide comfort, distraction, coaching and emotional support during procedures for patients that need us.
Medical and therapeutic play: We help children become more comfortable with treatments and hospitalization through supervised play sessions with medical equipment. We also use therapeutic play activities and art activities to provide a healthy outlet for emotional expression.
Play and developmentally appropriate activities: We provide opportunities for play and recreation for patients of all ages. Our activity room is open for several hours daily for free play. We also host weekly activities such as movie night, Wii Wednesdays, and group medical play on Terrific Tuesdays. Toys, books, movies, video games and art materials are available for patient use throughout their stay.
Pet therapy: We have a volunteer team of pet therapy dogs with Faithful Paws that visit HealthBridge on a monthly basis. These specially trained and certified animals love to socialize with our patients and are very popular visitors.
Holidays and special events: We want children to be able to celebrate important milestones in the hospital setting. Our Child Life Specialists help recognize birthdays and special occasions. We plan holiday crafts, parties and schedule visitors (musicians, community groups). Each summer, patients and siblings are invited to participate in Camp Rocks, a day camp full of special themed activities.
Grief and bereavement support: Our Child Life Specialists work closely with social work and psychology to provide grief and bereavement support for families. We provide memory making activities, sibling support, and age-appropriate resources for families experiencing loss.
In addition to the scheduled activities, our Child Life Specialists provide one-on-one activity at bedside for patients on isolation or patients that might need therapeutic play or emotional support.