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From the Heart of a Child Life Specialist

To celebrate Child Life Month, Allison Zirpolo, CCLS, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Child Life Specialist, shares insights about the important role of Child Life in the care of pediatric patients and their families. 

Child life is having a passion for protecting the wellbeing of a child and their family. We understand the effects a positive hospital experience has on an individual’s ability to cope and strengthen.  Child life is meeting an individual at their level and processing through medical jargon until true understanding and acceptance is achieved.

We are advocates who speak when a child cannot; “stop,” “listen,” “make pain go away.” Child life problem solves for those too overwhelmed to do so themselves. We provide resources that ease pain, worry and normalize the hospital’s foreign environment.

Child life communicates with children through their language of play. Doc McStuffins is no longer just a TV show; it’s our most popular form of live entertainment. We play doctor to allow children opportunities to express fears, misconceptions, and hopes for their own medical experiences.

Child life supports a child’s imagination and validates them until anxieties diminish and laughter begins.

A child life specialist is much more than just a professional bubble blower; we are experts in the art of distraction. From guided imagery to a pin wheel, each item has a purpose and a goal worth achieving.

Child life always involves caregivers first and offers a constant familiar face that provides safety and comfort. We as child life specialist respect and honor our families.

In the world of child life there is no such thing as disability - only people with abilities. We provide therapeutic services that are catered to each family’s unique needs and often go above and beyond to do what’s best for them.

We do it because we love the quality of care we provide and the rewards child life delivers. Child life is fun, empowering and fulfilling.

Learn more about the Child Life at Wentworth-Douglass by visiting the Child Life Services or calling (603) 740-2496.


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