The Child Life program at American Family Children's Hospital is made up of trained professionals with backgrounds in child development.

Certified Child Life Specialists help children, adolescents and families cope with the fear and anxiety associated with the medical environment and hospitalization. The goal of the Child Life program is to promote positive experiences for children and families throughout hospitalization.

Play with a Purpose: How Child Life Uses Play

  • Create a friendly, familiar environment
  • Teach about procedures, surgeries, or new diagnosis
  • Distraction during procedures or times of discomfort
  • Promote development
  • Allow children to master their healthcare experience
  • Encourage peer interactions
  • Support emotional and psychosocial needs
  • Provide opportunities for self-expression
  • Introduce medical supplies to encourage learning and reduce fears
  • Involve siblings throughout medical experience