Child Life Specialists at University of Iowa Children's Hospital focus on meeting the emotional and developmental needs of children who are in a health care setting.

For a child, the excessive anxiety and stress related to illness, separation from family during hospitalization, and medical encounters can be emotionally damaging and interfere with the child's response to medical treatment and care. Major interruptions in a child's life can invite dependency and erode self-esteem and may jeopardize the child's growth and development.

Through the use of play and other forms of communication, a Child Life Specialist helps reduce the stress and enable children and families to cope with these experiences.

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