The Child Life Program at WVU Medicine Children’s is intended to help children and adolescents cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability, and hospitalization. Our Child Life specialists are highly trained professionals who support hospitalized children ranging in age from infants to teenagers with a variety of medical diagnoses.

The goal of our program is to provide hospitalized children comfort and reassurance while reducing their fear and anxiety. We provide age appropriate, educational, social, and emotional support with play, preparation for procedures and diagnoses, and expressive activities.

Our Child Life team promotes family-centered care by working with doctors, nurses, social workers, and other medical staff to meet the needs of each patient and family.

Always free of charge, Child Life services include:

  • Bedside activities
    • Arts and crafts
    • Diversionary activities
    • Games
    • Relaxation and coping techniques
  • Pre-and post-procedural education
    • Explanations of medical procedures in terms children can understand
  • Medical play
    • Provides children the opportunity to become familiar with medical equipment in a safe, non-threatening way
  • Developmental play
    • Helps to stimulate patients and promotes growth and development

We also offer:

  • Pet therapy in the Activity Center on the first and last Wednesday of each month
  • Special events/visitors, which are scheduled and organized by Child Life