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Child Life Specialists


Child life specialists work in health care settings to help infants, children, adolescents, and their families through illness or injury. One of the primary roles of the child life specialist is to ease the anxiety and stress that often accompany hospitalization, injury, or routine medical care. Child life specialists help children, adolescents, and their families maintain living patterns that are as close to normal as possible, and they try to minimize the potential trauma of hospitalization. Child life specialists do this by providing opportunities for play and relaxation, interaction with other children, and personalized attention. They also encourage family involvement, which can play a major role in helping children and adolescents cope with difficult situations. Child life specialists may help children and their families to develop coping skills and educate them about the experience that they are going through.

Some hospitals refer to their child life specialists as play therapists, patient activity therapists, activity therapists, or therapeutic recreation specialists.

Salary Range

$25,000 to $75,000

Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree




Faster than the Average
Personality Traits




Career Ladder
Child Life Administrator or Director of a Child Life Program

Experienced Child Life Specialist

Entry-Level Child Life Specialist

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