Child Life helps children, teenagers and their families cope with the stress of a hospital experience. Our child life specialists provide developmental, educational, and therapeutic interventions, such as music therapy, tutoring, playroom activities and outpatient services, as well as psychosocial assessments of critical care and emergency room pediatric patients.
As part of Atlantic Health System Children’s Health, we have medical specialists here who provide superior pediatric care that is specific to your child’s needs, while also respectful of every family’s values.
Music therapy may improve relaxation, mood and comfort; alleviate anxiety and stress; and help with pain management. These benefits are achieved through recorded melodies and live music played by either our board-certified music therapist or our patients. Sessions are offered privately or in groups, and no prior musical experience is necessary.
We work with tutoring company Education Inc., whose tutors help patients staying at our hospitals keep up with their regular classroom curriculum. Every student working with an Education Inc. teacher will receive full attendance credit for each day they complete school work. They assist our student patients not only while they are in the hospital, but also through the transition home or to another facility.
Playroom Activities and Bedside Visits
Our playrooms are places where children and teenagers can relax and have fun. Activities include arts and crafts projects, painting, computer games, books and music. We also provide hospital-related toys, such as child stethoscopes, so that our patients can become more comfortable with medical procedures. For children who are unable to come to the playroom, age appropriate toys and activities can be brought to their individual room.
Our child life specialists also work in the emergency departments at our hospitals, Aresty Family Day Hospital at Morristown Medical Center and Valerie Fund Children’s Centers, providing a variety of services, such as procedural support, educational and recreational activities, and emotional comfort. In addition, they are on call throughout the hospital for children whose family members have chronic and acute illnesses or are trauma victims. They help children understand what is happening to their parent or sibling.
In conjunction with St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center and Starlight Children’s Foundation, our child life program also provides weekly visits from therapeutic dogs and Hug-A-Me the Clown to further ease our patients’ hospital experience.