Child Life Specialists

Child Life specialists at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, all of whom have degrees in child development, education or child life, will work to help your child understand new experiences and feelings that may occur before, during and after a pediatric transplant. They will get to know each child, and tailor activities to his or her individual needs. In a variety of ways, Child Life specialists help to make your child’s hospital stay as pleasant as possible. Here’s a closer look at what they do:

  • Provide emotional support to children and their families
  • Prepare children and families for health care experiences (admission, medical, and surgical procedures)
  • Maintain the Child Life Activity Center
  • Assess children’s development and behavior
  • Maintain a developmental plan for each child according to his/her needs and developmental level
  • Provide opportunities for normal play activities and therapeutic medical play
  • Teach stress point coping techniques (diversion, distraction, relaxation) to help reduce stress and anxiety
  • Participate in supporting the child through difficult or painful procedures with medical play, distraction techniques, or education
  • Give information regarding sibling support
  • Discuss bereavement and related issues when appropriate

Learn more about the Transplant Physicians and Staff at UPMC Children’s Hospital.