Whether in the hospital, in the emergency room or in a clinic, all children have basic needs that must be met, and these needs may be magnified by illness, injury or loss of the familiar routines of life. To help support their special psychosocial and educational needs, the UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center has certified child life specialists to help pediatric patients and their families cope with a potentially stressful health care experience.
The goals of the Child Life Program include:
- Creating a child-friendly, family centered environment
- Providing recreational, therapeutic and medical play opportunities for infants, children and teens
- Collaborating with the child and family to create a plan of care to best support their identified needs
- Minimizing anxiety and stress through emotional support, information sharing and coping interventions, such as distraction and imagery
- Promoting growth and development through normalization of the medical setting
- Encouraging and enabling parent and family involvement