Child life specialists are child development experts who work to ensure that life remains as normal as possible for children in health care settings. They promote effective coping through play, self-expression activities, and age-appropriate medical preparation and education.

How Can a Child Life Specialist Help My Family?

As advocates of family-centered care, child life specialists work in partnership with doctors, nurses, social workers, and others to meet the unique emotional, developmental, and cultural needs of each child and family. They provide information and resources for parents, and advocate for family-centered care. A child life specialist can help your family in many ways:

  • They can help ease a child's fear and anxiety through therapeutic and recreational play activities or through encouraging healthy expression of feelings
  • They can encourage a child's cooperation with and understanding of a medical procedure
  • They can facilitate non-medicinal pain management through guided imagery, distraction techniques, therapeutic essential oils, breathing techniques, and more
  • They can energize and engage children and their families by providing special events, entertainment and activities
  • They can help foster a supportive environment
  • They can help the patient's siblings understand and cope
  • They can conduct hospital tours

Child Life Internship

Find requirements for the child life specialist internship at Primary Children's Hospital.


Child Life Practicum

Learn more about the requirements for our Child Life Practicum and find out how to apply.