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UC Davis Children’s Hospital

UC Davis Children’s Hospital

Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy support services

Child life program

The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Program encompasses a staff of highly qualified specialists augmented by a group of volunteers dedicated to the comfort and well-being of pediatric patients. Child life specialists provide a wide variety of services for hospitalized children at UC Davis Children's Hospital. They explain medical procedures to children, using special medical play puppets while displaying medical supplies, such as intravenous tubing, bandages, slings and hospital gowns. 

Preadmission tours, medical procedures and surgery support

Child life specialists conduct preadmission tours of the hospital, support and provide berevement interventions, and coordinate special events and celebrations. They also accompany children undergoing medical testing and surgical procedures to occupy their attention, give them supportive reassurance, explain procedures, coach them in relaxation techniques and otherwise lend emotional support.


 In addition, child life specialists supervise a playroom in the hospital’s pediatric unit, where children may occupy their time by assembling jigsaw puzzles, creating art projects, or playing with toys and electronic games. In addition to those individual pursuits, they may engage in activities with other children, including playing board games and participating in “story time” readings. A separate teen activity room is designed with the interests of adolescents in mind. Child life specialists arrange to spend time at the bedside of kids who are unable to come to the playroom.