ServicesChildren's ServicesWhile Your Child Is Here
  • Our Child Life Program

    We realize hospitalization can be extremely stressful for you and your child. That’s why we developed the Child Life Program, to support you and your child and help ease your child’s anxiety during hospitalization.

    Meet Our Child Life Specialists
    Child Life Specialists will meet your child’s developmental, emotional, and psychosocial needs while they are in the hospital. We provide pediatric patients with a supportive environment, offering play and various learning experiences throughout hospitalization.

    The Child Life Program also provides procedural teachings and support for surgery and treatments. Therapeutic health care play and teaching sessions for all ages explain diagnoses and illnesses by using age-appropriate teaching materials. This helps explain medical procedures and treatments, and encourages self-expression while being in the hospital.

    Child Life Program Services
    Our Child Life Program includes:

    • Medical Preparation and Play help alleviate anxiety and provide a sense of control for children who are preparing for any medical procedure, including surgery. Children are invited to take a tour of St. Luke’s before their procedure. Medical procedures are explained using pictures, a doll, and actual medical equipment to give the child a better understanding of their procedure.
    • Procedural Support helps children cope with difficult medical issues through distraction and relaxation techniques. Child Life Specialists are also available to help assist parents in supporting their child during these procedures.
    • Support for Siblings is provided to families to give information and support. Child Life Specialists also helps siblings to understand the medical situation and work through their own feelings and concerns.
    • Normal Play playroom is available Monday-Friday (10 am-noon and 2-4 pm). The playroom is filled with toys, games, and crafts for infants and school-age children. A music room is also provided for the patients, and is equipped with a computer and internet access.

    Making Your Child’s Hospitalization More Comfortable
    The hospital experience can be made less overwhelming by bringing familiar and comforting items from home. We suggest:

    • A favorite toy or stuffed animal
    • A special pillow or blanket
    • Comfortable pajamas, slippers, and socks — the hospital provides gowns for medical procedures and surgery, but it’s nice if your child has their "own" clothes for other times during your stay
    • Video movies, DVDs, and games; we have a VHS TV/VCR and DVD units upon request, and a Nintendo 64, GameCube, PlayStation, and Xbox
    • CDs or music tapes, an iPod or radio
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    St. Luke's Hospital Child Life Program
    1111 Amsterdam Ave 5-West Pediatrics
    New York, NY 10025
    (212) 523-3526