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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Children’s Celebrates Child Life Month, Honoring Those Who Help Children and Their Families Overcome Challenging Situations

March is National Child Life Month

Along with world-class health care, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC provides child-friendly support by child life professionals who provide effective coping assistance through play, preparation, education and self-expression activities.

Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Department provides support, education and assistance to children, teens and their families who are adjusting to illness and hospitalization.

Child Life specialists and assistants develop and implement individual and group interventions for patients and their families through emotional support, coping techniques, developmental assessment, school tutoring and much more. Child Life also supervises the popular playrooms located on every patient floor of the hospital.

“We feel that our services truly go hand-in-hand with the medical care provided to our patients,” said Denise Esposto, manager of the Child Life Department at Children’s. “The programs and services we offer are an intricate part of a child’s healing process. The Child Life staff helps to bring some sense of normalcy to a child’s hospital stay, which can be very traumatic. Our professionally trained staff offers coping techniques and support during procedures that can really make a difference for a young patient and his or her family.”

The Child Life staff works with children and their families throughout the hospital, including the medical and surgical inpatient units, the critical care units, some outpatient areas and the Emergency Department. Child Life also offers bedside preparation, support and activities to children who are on bed rest or in isolation and coordinates visits with celebrities, such as Elmo, Spiderman, Pittsburgh Steelers players and the annual Pittsburgh Penguins team visit, to name a few.

Child Life offers a variety of programs and services including:

  • Medical-Free Activity Centers

These playrooms are places where kids can be kids; they provide a place for play and relaxation in a child-friendly, fun environment. The Activity Centers are “medical-free” zones, which means no medical discussions or procedures are allowed. Supervised group and individualized play sessions are provided daily for children of all ages.

  • Pet Friend Program

This program brings carefully evaluated dogs into the hospital to visit and interact with children. Child-animal contact can vary, from a child simply watching a dog to petting, cuddling or even playing fetch and walking a dog in the hallway.

  • Same Day Surgery Tours

These tours prepare surgical patients and their families for upcoming procedures and fosters awareness with the sometimes unfamiliar hospital environment and equipment.

Learn more about Children’s Child Life Department.

Last Update
April 4, 2008
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Last Update
April 4, 2008