Play has a vital role in promoting a child’s growth and development. It allows for self-expression, enhances the child’s ability to cope with stress, provides for a sense of control, normalizes the healthcare setting and helps meet developmental milestones.
Playrooms are located on the 4th, 6th, and 7th towers, in Day Surgery and in the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. In addition, the 4th and 6th towers and the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center have Teen Rooms available for patients 11 years and older.
Children who have been prepared for healthcare events experience less fear and anxiety and tend to adjust more effectively to future medical encounters.
Child life specialists prepare patients through the use of:
- Appropriate explanations of procedures based on the child’s age and understanding
- Techniques for coping with anxiety and stress
- Medical play to promote mastery of medical procedures using teaching dolls and medical books
Support and Coping During Procedures
Each child is unique and processes stressful events differently. When a child is allowed to choose effective coping methods for a medical procedure, it provides a sense of control during their experience.
Child life specialists guide and support children through difficult procedures utilizing a variety of techniques such as:
- Step by step explanation throughout a procedure
- Pain management techniques
- Coping methods such as deep breathing, blowing bubbles or holding a caregiver’s hand
- Positioning for comfort, which allows a caregiver to hold or sit closely alongside the child during a medical procedure. This helps the child feel secure, comforted and supported by a trusted adult.