Child Life Department

The Child Life Department at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC provides developmental, educational, social and emotional support to children of all ages ranging from birth to young adulthood. 

Our Child Life Team

Manager: Ken Rudek, MSW, 412-692-9933

The Child Life Department consists of Child Life Assistants, Child Life Specialists, and Music Therapists, who strive to help patients and families understand and cope with their hospital stay and their overall health care experience.

  • Child life assistants — have diverse backgrounds with specialized training in child development and education. Within a family-centered care environment, the professional staff.
  • Child life specialists — are certified members of the Child Life Council with advanced degrees in child development, education or child life. They help educate children about new experiences and feelings that may occur before, during and after a hospital stay. 
  • Music therapists — with extensive training in music and psychosocial interventions, are board-certified and are members of the American Music Therapy Association.

Child Life's Activity Centers

Child Life’s Activity Centers are rooms where hospitalized children of all ages can relax in child-friendly environments. They are medical-free zones where no medical discussions or procedures are allowed. Supervised group and individualized play sessions take place daily. Bedside activities are offered to children who are on bed rest or in isolation.

Additional resources

  • Child life in radiology — a child life specialist will help with your child in The Pediatric Department of Radiology. 
  • Distraction techniques — read more about the use of distraction techniques during procedures in radiology.
  • Adventure rooms — learn more about our imaging equipment that creates a unique journey for your child. 
  • Lemieux Sibling Center — provides a safe and supportive program for siblings of children receiving care at Children's Hospital.


  • Child Life

    Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
    4401 Penn Avenue
    Floor 1
    Pittsburgh PA, 15224