Child Life specialists are child development experts who help ensure that life remains as normal as possible for children in health care settings and other challenging environments. We promote effective coping through play, self-expressive activities, and age-appropriate medical preparation and education. Our areas of focus include:
Play & Self-Expressive Activities
A child’s job is to play. We encourage children to play, whether at bedside or in our play and teen spaces within the hospital. We use art, music and creative therapies to promote your child’s development.
Play Spaces for Children & Teens
Kids of all ages want to explore, play, and laugh, no matter where they are — even in the hospital. Often a child’s choices are limited in the hospital setting, but not at Nemours.
As a hospital built by families, for families, Nemours Children's Hospital is a bright, inviting place where cozy reading nooks are carved into walls, interactive games provide fun and learning experiences, and special spaces and activities — especially designed for kids — enhance creative play and expression.
Hospital Play Spaces are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week. Our spaces are fun places made for patients and families to escape the stressors of the hospital. These spaces are safe zones where kids can find normal play activities away from medical procedures, equipment and exams.
You can find a play space here:
- Third Floor Teen Space: for adolescents ages 12 years and older
- Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Floor Play Space: for children of all ages, geared toward 12 years and younger
Please note that patients, siblings and visitors under 12 must be accompanied by an adult while they play.
Creative Arts Therapy
Music therapy and art therapy are based on science and are safe. At Nemours Children's Hospital, Florida, we have board-certified music and art therapists to visit patients and meet their individual needs.
Our Child Life specialists use real and pretend medical equipment to give your child a chance to play through medical experiences by sharing feelings, concerns and fears.
It’s natural for a child to be anxious about a hospital or clinic visit, but it helps to know what to expect. We help explain procedures and surgery using your child’s five senses and medical materials.
Coping and Distraction
During medical procedures, Child Life specialists offer a variety of tools to re-direct your child’s attention to decrease anxiety and increase cooperation. Techniques may include relaxation, deep breathing and guided imagery. We also help your child — and family — draw on your own coping strengths.
Our Child Life specialists provide psychosocial support to help your child cope with health care experiences and work through feelings such as fear, anger, sadness or guilt.
Enjoyment — like a good laugh — is an important part of healing. We organize a variety of activities and events for kids of all ages, including visits from special guests and small group or one-on-one activities in our play spaces.
Child Life specialists offer comfort, support and memorial activities for families when needed.