Making the medical experience less scary for children!
When you take play away, children become fearful, stressed, miserable…..imagine being in the hospital even for a few hours without play! Play gives children a way to normalize their experiences while eliminating fear!
By having the opportunity to explore and play in a space designed with a child in mind, children are better able to cope and to express their feelings – and in a medical setting, this can also translate to children being MORE MEDICALLY COMPLIANT (taking their medications and doing what their medical team is asking them to do to get better) and GETTING DISCHARGED SOONER (going home)!
Play in the hospital can take many forms – from THERAPEUTIC and EDUCATIONAL PLAY (helping prepare pediatric patients for procedures or better understanding their diagnosis/treatment) to DIVERSIONAL PLAY (giving them something to focus positive energy on so that they're not focused on being afraid in the hospital) to simply NORMALIZING their MEDICAL EXPERIENCE by giving them something to hold on to (stuffed/plush animal = best friend in scary times).
Play doesn't have to mean being physically active – play can be the opportunity to explore with their mind while focusing on something positive rather than on fear of the unknown!
Child Life Connection was created to build or enhance play opportunities in medical facilities providing services for pediatric patients, and to provide/support Child Life/Therapeutic Play programs for pediatric patients. Knowing it often "takes a village" to care for children, we aim to create a greater sense of community to support the care of our children by introducing students to Service Learning opportunities which support our pediatric patients in the settings which touch their lives – hospitals, schools and home!
Child Life Connection brings play, diversion and education into pediatric settings, all in an effort to make being in the hospital less scary for children!