Child Life

Print this page Bookmark and Share

The child life department strives to meet the emotional and psychosocial needs of hospitalized children by providing therapeutic play activities to help ease the stresses of hospitalization. Through play activities, children are encouraged to communicate their feelings of fear, frustration and anger in a nonthreatening playroom setting. Dayton Children's has play areas that have been designed and equipped to provide opportunities for physical, emotional, social and intellectual skills development.

Phone. 937-641-3000 (ask operator to page child life)

Manager: Karen Muller, BS, CCLS

Services Provided

  • Therapeutic play activities
  • Support and diversion during medical procedures at the hospital
  • Special events and holiday celebrations for hospitalized children and their families
  • Laptops with wireless internet may be used in activity room or at bedside
  • Paw Prints (pet therapy program)
  • Children's Clown Crew (clown visitation program)

Monday - Thursday, 8:30 am - 8:30 pm; Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Visiting Groups

Child life collaborates with 200 community groups or individuals per year who are interested in bringing smiles to our patients faces. The groups and individuals positively impact patients by engaging them in activities or donating needed items from our wishlist. To request a group visit or more information please call the hospital at 641-3000 and ask to speak with child life.

Special events or group visits should be scheduled two weeks to one month in advance. Dates and times are limited and fill up fast.

Please keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Preferred group size is 5 people or less
  • All participants must be age 15+
  • Groups must be accompanied by a child life specialist or hospital volunteer
  • No food, candy or latex balloons
  • All photos require parent consent
  • Allow 60 to 90 minutes for your group visit
  • Our patients range in age from newborn to 21 years of age


Child life only accepts donations of new toys and new stuffed animals. All items should be in their original packaging and stuffed animals should have their original tags. Please do not wrap gifts. Gift bags, tissue and wrapping paper can be donated.
Child life also accepts monetary donations to support the Child Life Fund, providing toys, books and games for all areas of the hospital. The fund also supports the purchase of craft supplies, birthday gifts and holiday activities.


Sign up for Pediatric Link

Finding the latest trusted child health and safety information doesn't have to be hard. Pediatric Link, Dayton Children's e-newsletter offers timely and up-to-date information for health care professionals from the experts you trust at Dayton Children's.  Sign up

Upcoming Events

Annual children's health and safety fair with a bike rodeo and many other health and safety stations.

Bike rodeo with free helmets while supply lasts to children receiving bike safety education and participating in bike rodeo and proper helmet fitting

View full event calendarView full event calendar

The Right Experts

Just right for all kids


The Children's Medical Center of Dayton Dayton Children's
The Right Care for the Right Reasons

One Children's Plaza - Dayton, Ohio - 45404-1815