The Child Life Program

Phone (718) 670-2966

The Child Life Program is designed to help children and their families cope with the stresses of hospitalization.  Our supportive services focus on the emotional and developmental needs of the child, as well as the child’s family.  We provide a non-threatening supportive environment that encourages children to explore and understand their feelings, fears and anxieties.

What is Child Life?

We ensure that our pediatric patients and their family are comfortable and confident with the environment, procedures and the people involved with their care. The Child Life staff provides explanations of medical procedures to patients and families, distracts children during medical procedures and provides post-therapeutic intervention to ease the anxiety of the child. Along with a team of specially trained volunteers and interns, the child life staff strives to build a trusting relationship with the children and their families. This is achieved by supervising play, answering questions in age-appropriate language, and providing educational and emotional support.  The trust that is formed allows children to express their feelings and concerns regarding their hospitalization.  We focus on creating the best possible environment that we can for our patients and their families, and giving the best education and support to our children and their families in order to let them have the best hospital experience that they can.

Help the Child Life Fund with a donation! 

What we have to offer: 

  • Child Life services are available to all pediatric patients on the pediatric inpatient unit.  pediatric intensive care unit and the pediatric ER.
  • Child Life services are available on a referral basis in other areas of the hospital if needed.
  • Activities can be brought to the bedside if a child is unable to visit the play area.
  • There are Starlight  Fun Centers that have DVD/Nintendo Game Cubes and DVD/Wii.
  • There are Starlight PC Pals, which are laptop computers for the patients to use; they have lots of fun games, educational games and wireless Internet access on them.
  • The play area has scheduled hours for safe, supervised activities.
  • Play helps to build coping skills, provide distraction and normalize the hospital experience.
  • Volunteers, interns and Child Life specialists staff the Child Life Program.
  • The Child Life staff is available to support, distract and prepare children before and during hospital procedures.
  • Pre-op tours and preparation are available on an individually scheduled basis.
  • Clowns and Musicians come to entertain pediatric patients and their families during their hospitalization. 
  • Pet Therapists come with their dogs to visits patients and their families at scheduled times.
  • Snoezelen is a mobile relaxation and distraction therapy program, it comes with different sensory tools that draws a child to focus on its various components during difficult procedures.
  • Starlight IPADS are used for education and distraction with pediatric patients.
  • A licensed art therapist is available to pediatric patients in need of more individual attention to cope with their hospitalization.

To learn more about the child life click here.


Meet Our Team 

For further information about the Child Life Program, please contact:

Director of Child Life
Alisha Rappaport-Zubrow
718-670-2920

or a Child Life Specialist
718-670-2966

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