March is Child Life Month! Hospitals around the world come together during this month to help shed awareness and raise education. To honor Child Life Month, we wanted to celebrate professionals who do so much to help children who are hospitalized due to injury or illness: Child Life Specialists!
What are Child Life Specialists?
Every day in our hospitals infants, children, and youth confront a wide variety of stressful and potentially traumatic events that can impact their ability to cope. A Child Life Specialist is someone who helps families navigate the stress and uncertainty of acute and chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, loss and bereavement. These trained Child Life Professionals help improve patient and family care, satisfaction, and overall experience. They are having a positive impact on families during what can be an extremely difficult time, which is why we want to honor them during Child Life Month.
Fun Ideas for Honoring Child Life Specialists
Child Life Specialists provide the additional support that your child needs when they are afraid and stressed. For providers who want to acknowledge and honor Child Life Month by celebrating their own Child Life Specialists, here are a list of ways to do so!
Decorations: Create bulletin boards and decorations honoring Child Life Specialists! You can create a series that profiles about who they are and lets people learn a little more about them, and/or post educational informational resources on the important work they do!
Self-Care Day: Any job at a hospital can be stressful and hard. Child Life Specialists encounter a lot of pain, grief, and loss on a regular basis. By setting up a self-care day you can help them unwind a bit and take some time for themselves! Considering hosting a yoga class, massage, or a meditation session for the day.
Acknowledge Your Team: Child Life Specialists make a difference every day. Publicly acknowledge them on your hospital's blog post or social media feed that both highlights their important work and informs families about this important resource.
Build Awareness: Host a fundraiser for more toys, coloring books, and games the Child Life Specialists use to make children more comfortable. Host a competition internally that accepts donations of gently used or new items and give a prize to the department who collects the most donations! Keep it going throughout Child Life Month to continue to raise awareness as well.
Themed Event- Host a themed event for a day where everyone can dress up and celebrate with festive activities. Not only will this honor Child Life Specialists, and celebrate Child Life Month, but it will also put a smile on the patients little faces as they see their favorite character or super hero walking down the hall!