Child Life Services


Our child life specialists have received specific training and education to help children and families reduce the stress of hospital visits, health care experiences, and procedures.  Children need to understand what is happening to them.  A child life specialist can help patients understand their experiences and feelings through play, education, and support.


Child life services include:

  • Preparing children for procedures or medical treatment using language they understand and/or medical play activities
  • Introducing coping strategies to help reduce anxiety and enhance cooperation with the health care team
  • Providing support and distraction during medical procedures
  • Offering play and expressive activities to encourage normal development and a sense of fun in spite of challenging circumstances
  • Promoting family-centered care by providing information, advocacy, and support to families.  This includes supporting the siblings of patients during a hospital experience.
  • Maintaining playrooms in our inpatient and surgery areas.  These playrooms are open to families throughout their hospitalization.
  • Child life assistant provides specially organized playroom activities at various times in our inpatient units

Is your child scheduled for surgery at the children’s hospital?



We recommend a pre-operative tour. Call 309-624-0231 to schedule your tour or learn more!

  • The free tour helps familiarize children and families with the surgery process and increase children’s comfort on surgery day.  This tour is ideal for children ages 3-12.
  • If you are unable to make a tour prior to surgery, we encourage you and your child to view this pre-operative informational tour video as an alternative.

Internship Application