Certified Child Life Specialists provide interventions including therapeutic play, preparation for procedures, and education that support and reduce fear, anxiety, pain, and suffering for children, siblings and families.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics 2014 policy statement on child life services:
“Child life services should be delivered as part of an integrated patient- and family- centered model of care and included as a quality indicator in the delivery of services for children and families in healthcare settings.”
Studies have found that child life interventions are instrumental in calming children’s fears and result in higher patient satisfaction ratings of the entire care experience.
Child life services make a difference in pediatric care. Research and practice have demonstrated that child life services, such as play and preparation, help to decrease costs (i.e., reducing the length of stay and decreasing the need for analgesics).
Observation and consumer satisfaction feedback further confirm the positive effects of child life programs on children and families and staff.
Leading surveys of the top children’s hospitals as conducted by both U.S. News and World Report and Parent magazine recognize child life as one of the specific variables in determining pediatric quality care.