Helping Kids Be Kids
When a child walks through the doors of a hospital, it can be a terrifying experience in their eyes. Having a Child Life specialist greet them, attend to their needs, use play as a distraction, explain their procedure in simple terms and intervene on their behalf provides comfort for the child, their family and the clinical team.
“Easing the fear and anxiety of both the child and the parent is a significant benefit for helping the healing process,” Summit Area Public Foundation Trustee Jim Fleischmann said. “The Child Life specialist provides the patient and the parent with comfort, emotional support and referrals of outside supportive services. We thought it was a very worthwhile project.”
A recent $10,000 gift from The Summit Area Public Foundation helped to increase the Child Life staff at Goryeb Children’s Hospital to five specialists.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Child Life services help to reduce the length of hospital stays and related health care costs, reduce the use of pain medications and improve the wellbeing of the patient and family. These programs have become the standard in large pediatric settings to address the mental, emotional and developmental concerns that accompany hospitalization and other health care experiences. Despite the known benefits, Child Life does not receive reimbursement from insurance.
Our Child Life specialists cover many areas of the hospital beyond pediatrics, including supporting children of patients who are undergoing care elsewhere. A mission worth fighting for every day.