Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Child Life in the Emergency Center

Ease Your Mind in the Emergency Department. Ask for child life.

Child Life Specialists in the Emergency Department Provide:

  • Procedure Preparation & Support: Teach patients and families about upcoming procedures utilizing age appropriate explanations and provide developmentally appropriate items for distraction during procedures to minimize fear and anxiety.
  • Medical Play: Allow children to use and play with medical equipment, become more familiar with supplies to increase understanding, and play out past experiences or current feelings related to their experience.
  • Trauma Support: Work alongside the medical team and provide support to patients during the trauma exam and process. child life specialists provide updates to families, advocate for patient and family needs, assist in non-pharmacological pain control techniques, and encourage family presence and involvement at the bedside.
  • Preparation for the Operating Room (OR): Provide age-appropriate explanations of what patients can expect in the OR using pictures, medical equipment and anesthesia masks, in cases when emergent surgery is needed.
  • Pain Control/Comfort Measures: You, as a parent/guardian, are the patient’s best advocate when it comes to reading their cues of pain. We take your child’s pain very seriously and empower you and your child to inform us of pain and how we can help. Child life specialists are able to offer non-pharmacological pain management techniques such as deep breathing, distraction and advocating for the utilization of items such as the J-Tip & freeze spray and comfort positions to help the patient relax, focus on enjoyable thoughts and activities, and develop coping techniques to use outside of the hospital as well.

Helpful items to bring to your Emergency Department visit:

  • Child’s comfort item
  • Phone charger
  • Change of clothes
  • Favorite things to do (books, games, electronics)
  • Medications and important documents