When children are hospitalized, they face new experiences in an unfamiliar environment. 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 designed and equipped to provide opportunities for physical, emotional, social and intellectual skills development. Child life specialists have bachelor's degrees in child development.
Services We Offer
- 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)
Meet Our Child Life Team
Manager: Karen Muller, BS, CCLS
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
Finding trusted child health and safety information doesn't have to be hard. eGrowing Together offers the latest health, safety and parenting information from our experts delivered to your inbox every month.