Child Life can be thought of as the conduit that connects medical care provision with being a child. Health issues and treatments are very “adult” themes. Interrupting someone’s childhood with these subjects is an unfortunate reality for some children and their families. However, for all our pediatric patients and their families, this is their reality. The Child Life Program at Hospital for Special Surgery has a unique mandate to foster and facilitate an environment that is more child/family friendly and less institutional. It is more than décor; it’s about creating an atmosphere that balances medical need with a comforting, supportive setting that children and their families will respond to in a positive manner. Play, the work of childhood, combined with education, are tools utilized to help reduce fear and anxiety for the child and the family. Diminished fear and anxiety are easily correlated to better understanding and compliance with medical treatment as well as patient satisfaction.
The Child Life Program offers a wide range of activities and events for children who are hospitalized, coming for outpatient visits, as well as their families, including:
If you would like to have a child, who is currently an HSS patient, added to our mailing list, please call the Pediatric Special Response line at 212.606.1959. For all questions or inquiries regarding the Child Life Program, please contact Peyton Katz, CCLS at 212.774.2043.