St. Christopher’s is celebrating Child Life Month, a month-long celebration when hospitals honor Child Life professionals through education and awareness of their work. There will be a full week of inpatient and staff activities on March 15-19 at St. Christopher’s, with a different costume theme each day. Hospital staff dress up in costumes to match the theme and cheer up patients. There will be also be age-appropriate activities for patients every day, from basketball origami to leprechaun crafts to making superhero capes. The celebration will culminate on March 30, otherwise known as TuTu Tuesday, when staff will wear tutus over their clothing to show their support for the Child Life staff.
Child life professionals are trained to turn stressful situations – such as a hospitalization or surgery – into positive ones. They offer an abundance of support to help children and families understand and cope with their treatment, helping the entire family feel educated and engaged. Child life professionals have earned degrees in child development, education, psychology, or a related field. They also complete many hours of continuing education each year.
St. Christopher’s offers a full complement of Child Life services, from medical play using dolls and pretend equipment to pet therapy and other fun activities. The hospital also offers therapeutic play using age-appropriate toys and activities to help children express feelings, reach developmental milestones, or have a little fun. Child Life staff conduct developmental assessments for patients and offer tutoring and other school support for eligible patients. Through St. Christopher’s Hospital School Program, teachers from the Child Life staff work with patients’ schools and their families to coordinate ongoing education.