Did You Know?
- Child life specialists are prepared at the bachelor's and master's level in child life, child development, and other related fields.
- Child life services are available seven days a week, 365 days a year.
- Activity rooms are staffed by child life assistants who have a background in child development and experience working with children in an early childhood setting.
- Activity rooms are "safe" rooms where medical procedures are not permitted.
Child Life services include:
- Appropriately address social, emotional, and developmental needs of each child
- Introduce and facilitate healthy coping strategies
- Enhance patient understanding of medical procedures and diagnoses using age appropriate techniques
- Pre-surgery preparation and accompaniment to OR
- Emotional support , diversion, and relaxation techniques for patients during invasive procedures
- Therapeutic and medical play
- Sibling visitation
- Grief and bereavement services
- School reintegration program
- Inpatient academic enrichment program
- Wide range of community outreach events
Camp Good Grief
- Camp Good Grief is a 3-day camp experience for children and teens 10 to 16 years old who have had a sibling or parent die. It provides the place and space for children and teens to come together in an atmosphere of love and acceptance.
Toyota Learning Center
The Toyota Learning Center (TLC) is a unique collaboration between San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital that began in 2002. Providing K – 12 education resources and instruction to critically and chronically ill hospitalized children is the primary priority in this partnership
The Toyota Learning Center (TLC) is a unique collaboration between San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital that began in 2002. Providing K – 12 education resources and instruction to critically and chronically ill hospitalized children is the primary priority in this partnership.
The basic academic curriculum offered in the TLC is:
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
Accessing the TLC
The TLC is located in room 1819 on the lobby level of our Children's Hospital - West tower. Patients who require assistance can be transported to the TLC by a teacher or educational assistant. Bedside instruction is also available for those students unable to a attend classroom sessions. Times are scheduled per hospital unit.
Hospitalization is a difficult time for the entire family. It is overwhelming to care for a child in the hospital and to know how to support the siblings at home. Child Life Specialists are available to provide education and support to the siblings of patients in the hospital. Child Life Specialists can facilitate visits for patients with challenging diagnoses or equipment in the room.
Tips and Advice for Supporting Siblings
- Help the siblings understand the patient’s hospitalization in a way that is honest and developmentally appropriate. Often adults shy away from honesty as a way of protecting siblings however siblings cope best with appropriate information and learn they can trust the caregiver.
- Answer their questions. Illness, injury and hospitalization can cause siblings to wonder many things. Allow siblings to ask questions and answer them honestly.
- Allow siblings to feel the emotions they have. Hospitalization can cause siblings to feel overwhelmed, worried, anxious, angry, jealous, sad etc. Talk about the big emotions they may have and help teach safe ways to cope through those emotions.
Common Behavioral Responses
- Children respond to big emotions differently than adults. They typically will show emotion through behavior. Be patient with responses that may be observed and help them understand healthy coping strategies such as journaling, talking with a loved one, spending quality time with the sibling, etc.
- Notify the sibling’s teacher and school personnel about the hospitalization. Teachers are able to pay attention to behavior changes throughout their school days and have grace with school difficulties.
- In Younger Children
- Changes in sleep patterns
- In Older Children
- Wanting to be alone
- Difficulty in school
- Withdrawal from normal activities
Ways to Support
- Keep routines as normal as possible, including typical rules and boundaries.
- Keep conversations open to discuss their questions and talk about feelings related to their sibling being hospitalized.
- Keep siblings involved such as sending pictures, drawings, letters, stuffed animals to the patient’s room, FaceTiming, etc.
- Allow siblings to visit the hospitalized child per hospital guidelines.
Contact your unit Child Life Specialist for additional resources and support.
Sibling Support Class
- This class, created for kids ages 3-7, will help prepare older brothers and sisters for the arrival of a new baby. Taught by a Child Life Specialist, it includes fun activities, baby doll role-play, dress up and a tour of the birthing unit. Parents should attend class with their child(ren).
For further information, contact Cathy Regan, Child Life Specialist – NICU Department at 909-558-8325 or Cregan@llu.edu
MRI Preparation Classes
- Is your child in need of a MRI? We now have a child life specialist leading MRI practice sessions with a mock MRI scanner to teach children about MRIs and help them complete the MRI awake, thus minimizing the need for anesthesia, including risks and the long waiting list.
Child Life Playroom Hours
The playroom helps children do what they do best….play! The playroom is a “safe” room for patients where medical procedures are not permitted. Children can enjoy arts, crafts, games, movies and video games. The playrooms are staffed by Child Life Assistants who have a background in child development and experience working with children in an early childhood setting.
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
Friday-Sunday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
Child Life Practicum
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital offers a 120 hour Child Life Practicum. The student is expected to commit to a 4 week schedule which will be created based on the staff availability and experience.
All applicants must be in a Child Life Specialist Master’s program and from an affiliated university. Applications are only accepted for the Summer and all documents must be submitted by the first Monday, in February. To apply, please click the link below. If you have further questions about this opportunity, please e-mail the Child Life Clinical Coordinator, Kirstin Fowler at KLFowler@llu.edu or call 909-558-4000, ext. 85016
Child Life Internship
Our child life internship is a 600-hour, 16 week full time clinical internship under the direct supervision of a certified child life specialist. Our program is accredited through the ACLP and only accepts graduate level internship candidates from affiliated universities. This opportunity is offered for the Winter/Spring and Fall Internship dates.
LLU Children's Hospital follows the ACLP application deadlines, internship offer and acceptance dates found on Association of Child Life Professionals website. Eligible applicants are required to e-mail the Internship Readiness Common Application, to the Clinical Coordinator, Kirstin Fowler at KLFowler@llu.edu. All application materials must be submitted by the application deadline dates. Incomplete, late, or hand delivered application packets will not be considered.
Child Life Department
Unit-specific contact information
Acute Adolescent & Neurology
Acute Care Pediatrics
909-651-1778 ext. 21778
Units 3700 and Unit 3800/5B
Pediatric Cardio-Thoracic ICU
Pediatric Emergency Department
Pediatric Step-Down ICU
909-558-4000 ext. 53913
Pre-Op/PACU and Observation
909-558-4000 ext. 49772
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