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Child Life

Child Life specialists at Children’s of Mississippi

At Children’s of Mississippi, our Child Life specialists are full members of the health care team. They specialize in helping children and families deal with stress related to illness, hospitalization, and trauma. They are professionally trained with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in child life, child development, child psychology, or another related field.

How Child Life specialists help

  • Put kids more at ease in a hospital setting
    For some children, just being inside a hospital can make them feel afraid or anxious. The normal act of playing can help children and teens cope with hospital stays and medical treatments. Child Life specialists provide children opportunities for therapeutic play, giving them positive outlets for self expression.
  • Explain what to expect
    Unknowns related to treatments and procedures can cause anxiety in anyone; especially children. To help ease fears, Child Life specialists prepare children and families for what’s ahead. This may include medical play to help educate children and teens about their diagnoses and plans of care. Medical play helps children become more familiar with medical equipment, clarify any misconceptions, and increase their self-confidence.
  • Support during specific procedures
    Child Life specialists work with children to develop coping plans for specific medical procedures. Coping plans can help reduce the fear a child may associate with a procedure. When possible, child life specialists accompany and support children during medical procedures, using distraction techniques, breathing exercises and guided imagery.
  • Comfort in times of loss
    The loss of a loved one is a life altering event that affects the entire family. In times of loss, of a child or other family member, Child Life specialists work closely with children, siblings, and family members to help them understand and cope with grief. They focus on capturing treasured memories, providing outlets for self-expression, and offering resources for ongoing support.

Additional Child Life services

Child life specialists also provide:

Get involved

To learn about volunteering with our Child Life specialists, visit our Volunteers page. 

For information about donating items for our patients, visit or email

Child Life practicum

The child life practicum experience at Children’s of Mississippi is an observational opportunity for students to gain insight into the clinical role of a certified Child Life specialist. Practicum students will be exposed to the psychosocial needs of hospitalized children and families under the supervision of certified Child Life specialists and will be responsible for a variety of assignments including journaling, article reviews, patient developmental assessments, implementation of developmentally appropriate activities within the medical setting, and other duties as assigned in alignment with the Association of Child Life Professionals standards for practicum students.