Procedural Preparation & Support

Many of the experiences a child encounters in a medical setting are new and unfamiliar. Our Child Life specialists offer a wide array of tools and techniques to calm fears, soothe anxiety and encourage children to express their feelings.

Procedural preparation

Child Life specialists provide developmentally appropriate education customized to each individual child to help them prepare for a hospital experience through:

  • Preparation books/pictures and medical equipment
  • Collaboration with patient, family, and providers to establish coping techniques
  • Rehearsal of procedure utilizing coping strategy/tools
  • Distraction/coping support before, during, and after procedure


Giving children something to focus on to distract them can be especially effective way to minimize anxiety. Our child life specialists can work with you and your child to identify age-appropriate, individualized distraction plan to help create a positive experience for your child during a medical procedure.

Medical play

Play exposes a child to new concepts and information in a comfortable, non-threatening way. Medical play is used as a teaching tool to rehearse medical procedures and diagnoses in order to accomplish the following goals:

  • Identify misconceptions
  • Promote mastery to help the child regain his or her sense of control
  • Allows expression of feelings

Through medical play children have the opportunity to give voice to fears and misconceptions about their hospital experience that they may not be able to express verbally.

Take the next step

For more information about Child and Family Life services at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, please contact us at 734-936-6519 or [email protected].