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Child Life


Child life specialist talking to surgery patient

​​​​​​​​​​Boys Town National Research Hospital strives to create the best care environment for our patients. Our Child Life Specialists work with the medical staff and caregivers of the patients to help alleviate fears and anxieties a child may experience during hospitalization. They identify potential sources of stress, provide accurate and age-appropriate information to the patient and family members and work with the child to plan and practice coping strategies. By combining play and education, Child Life Specialists are able to explain medical procedures and diagnoses in a way that children of all ages can understand.

Meet Our Child Life Specialists


What We Do

To meet the needs of our patients and families, the Boys Town Child Life team provides:

  • Therapeutic and recreational play activities to help make the hospital feel more normal
  • Medical education, preparation and sensory explanations using
    • Medical Play - using actual medical equipment the child may encounter during his/her stay to help normalize those tools for them
    • Hospital and surgery tours
    • Procedural and diagnoses teaching (IVs, NGs, EEG, Crohn’s/Colitis, etc.)
  • Planning and implementing coping strategies
    • Distraction
    • Deep Breathing
    • Non-pharmacological pain management techniques
  • Support from siblings and other family members such as special events
    • Christmas parties, birthday celebrations, car seat events

Our Child Life Specialists are professionals who have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in a child development-related field and specialize in the social, emotional and developmental aspects, as well as how to cope with a visit to the hospital.

A Note to Parents

It is important to remember that your child notices your verbal and nonverbal signals. Before you begin to talk to your child about his/her upcoming medical experience, talk with your child’s doctor about your child’s condition or procedure so you are familiar with as much information as possible. ​The more you understand, the more time you will have to support your child and focus on his/her needs and questions.

Always remember, if you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to contact a Boys Town Child Life Specialist ​at (531) 355‑6040.


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