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Child Life Specialists

Your Child's Special Friend

As you know, an extended stay at the hospital can be a very stressful thing, not only to the child, but to parents and family members as well. The Child Life staff works with each family individually to ensure that the child’s developmental, emotional and psychosocial needs are met during his/her stay. Through a combination of activities and learning experiences, they can help your child adjust to the hospital experience and decrease stress and anxiety.

Our Services

Every child is a unique individual with individual needs. Child Life team members work closely with you and your family to provide the most beneficial services. Support is offered in three main areas: emotional, educational and developmental. These may include:

Medical Play

Medical Play is a hands-on play experience that helps your child become familiar with the medical equipment that will be used during his/her hospital experience. Real/medical equipment may be used to do art activities, "treat" dolls, play games such as medical bingo and much more.

Procedural Education

Medical procedures can often be a very stressful time for both the patient and family. Preparing children can reduce their anxiety and increase coping during the hospitalization. Child Life Specialists use dolls, photo books and real medical equipment to provide age and developmentally appropriate education.

Playrooms and Teen Lounge

Play is a vital in a child's healing process. Florida Hospital for Children offers two playrooms and one teen lounge to provide patients an opportunity for a sense of control and mastery in a non-threatening, safe environment.

Bedside Activities

Our Child Life Specialists have a broad range of activities to offer patients at their bedside, including games, arts and crafts, movies, etc. These activities also provide opportunities for self-expression and creativity, as well as providing an overall positive experience in the hospital.

Sibling Support

Family-centered care is a standard of care at Florida Hospital for Children. Child Life Specialists are trained to provide education and support to a child's sibling(s) as well as the patient.

Pet Therapy

Our Pet Therapy Program gives patients the opportunity to visit with certified therapy dogs trained to work with hospitalized children. These special dogs offer a sense of normalization that all children benefit from in the hospital process.

Special Events

Children are always encouraged and uplifted by having special visitors during their stay at Florida Hospital for Children. These special events allow us to provide an overall positive experience for the family.

Our Child Life Specialist Team

Our team is comprised of Child Life Specialists and recreational therapists who hold a minimum of a bachelors degree in child development or related field, and have completed a Child Life internship. Team members have also passed a national certification examination attesting to their expertise in all aspects of Child Life services.


Help the Child Life specialists provide an environment of hope and healing for our patients and their families by shopping our Wish List. No time to shop? You may also donate online.

Interested in joining us?

At Florida Hospital for Children, we are always interested in people who are committed to the health and well being of children. If you want a rewarding career with lots of challenges, great benefits and advancement potential, we’d like to hear from you. Visit our career site at

If you would like to find out more about services available through our Child Life Program, call (407) 303-9456.

Our Child Life Program currently offers internships in the spring and the fall. We follow the CLC's recommended deadline schedule. If you are interested in applying, please open our Child Life Internship application

We currently offer practicums in the Spring and Fall of approximately 8 weeks or 120 hours. The days and hours are flexible to meet the students’ needs as well as staffing concerns. The Practicum application deadlines are: Spring: January 5 and Fall: July 1. Applications must be postmarked by these dates to be considered. The Spring practicum runs from March-April and the Fall from September-October. If you are interested in applying, please open our "practicum application"

If you have additional questions regarding our Child Life internship program, call (407) 303-8802.

The skill to heal. The spirit to care.