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How We Help Children

"It is a huge relief for parents to be able to take their children to a less hospital-like environment and let them be children again."--One thankful parent

Research has shown that children with any medical condition need more than just medical care to heal and recover. They need support, interaction with their peers, and time to "play."

Support for the "Whole" Child

The Child Life and Family Education Program at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital supports families like yours by providing educational, developmental, and therapeutic services to young people of all ages.

Child life specialist Chelsea Cress uses an iPad with a patient. iPads in the ER: Learn how our specialists use iPads to make the emergency room experience a little less scary for children.

Our program provides caring, individualized attention to infants, children, and teenagers who are hospitalized or visiting the hospital for outpatient surgeries or procedures. Specially designed child life activities can offer a welcome distraction and help young people manage pain, anxiety, or stress they may experience. In addition, a variety of expressive therapies, such as art and music, can help children and teens express themselves in a safe and supportive environment.

Experts in Child Development

Child life specialist Jennie Geartz with two boys

Our staff recognizes that, in addition to your child's medical needs, all children have important developmental needs. Our nationally certified child life specialists have special training and expertise in childhood development. They use this knowledge to help children of all ages continue to grow through activities that reinforce intellectual, motor, emotional, and social skills. This special focus on developmental and psychological needs helps each child adjust to the hospital environment.

Partners in the Care of Children

Child life specialists are integral members of your child's healthcare team. Our highly trained specialists work alongside doctors, nurses, and other therapists to plan a holistic treatment strategy for your child. This unique collaborative environment is one reason why our child life program has gained a national reputation for excellence.




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The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital  |   5721 S. Maryland Avenue   |   Chicago, IL 60637