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The Child Life Program

Photos above, left to right: Courtesy of Encourage Kids Foundation; Courtesy of Marj Kleinman; Courtesy of Encourage Kids Foundation; The TBHC pediatric inpatient unit’s playroom.


The Child Life Program
The Child Life Program at TBHC addresses the unique emotional and developmental needs of our pediatric patients and their families. Child Life specialists use developmentally appropriate preparation, education and various therapeutic techniques, such as guided imagery and distraction, when working with children and families. Child Life assists during medical procedures and exams by preparing children and providing coping strategies. The relaxed and comfortable play environment and trusting relationships built by Child Life specialists allow children to freely express their feelings and concerns regarding hospitalization and illness. Child Life specialists normalize the hospital experience by providing children with a sense of control over a seemingly uncontrollable situation while providing the child and family with education and emotional support.

Some special Child Life programming includes monthly visits from a therapy dog, weekly visits from magicians and musicians, and weekly visits from artists.

TBHC has two full-time certified Child Life specialists, along with a robust volunteer program. Our Child Life specialists cover the:

  • Pediatric inpatient unit, pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), neonatal intensive care (NICU) and pediatric hematology/oncology clinic.
  • Outpatient pediatric sites and services.
  • Pediatric Emergency Department, where a dedicated Child Life specialist provides much-needed support in a very stressful time. This specialist also assists with pediatric patients in Radiology.

Specific services include:

  • Radiology Prep: The Child Life Program provides preparation for various scans in radiology. Using child-friendly and developmentally appropriate language, the child life staff can educate and prepare your child for their scan or imaging. If you are interested in speaking with a child life specialist about your child’s next imaging appointment you can contact: Meghan Amorosa at mamorosa@tbh.org or 718-250-7200.
  • Pre-Operational Preparation Program: Our Child Life Specialists offer suggestions on how to prepare and support your child during your visit for surgery at TBHC. If you would like to speak with Child Life before your child’s surgery you can contact: Lori Lerma at llerma@tbh.org or 718-250-8514.
  • Inpatient Unit: The Child Life Program supervises our playroom on the inpatient unit. The playroom provides activities for children of all ages from Play-Doh to painting. There is even a teen nook in the playroom, allowing our older patients to engage in video games, watch movies or just hang out with one another. If your child cannot visit the playroom, toys and activities can be brought to the bedside.

The Child Life Program is always accepting donations. If you would like to make a monetary donation visit here.

We also accept donations of brand-new art supplies, toys and clothing year-round. If you have any questions regarding a donation, volunteering or general information you can contact Lori Lerma at llerma@tbh.org or 718-250-8514.

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