About the Child Life Department

Children and their families may feel stress and anxiety when they come to the hospital for healthcare. The Child Life Department provides support and expertise to help families during their time at HSC Children’s Hospital.

Child Life Specialists (CLS) are certified professionals who help children and their families adjust to being in the hospital, whether it is a short visit or a longer stay. Child Life Assistants (CLA) performs a variety of supportive Child Life functions for the care and comfort of patients. 

With a strong background in child and adolescent development, Child Life Specialists promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expressive activities. Using a family-centered approach, they provide emotional support for families, and provide opportunities for normal growth and development of children facing a broad range of healthcare-related challenges.

Child Life is located in the Blue Dr. Goodbear Zone on Level 2 (CH2)
Mailing address:
CH2-820 Sherbrook Street
Winnipeg, MB   R3A 1R9


Email: [email protected]

Services and Programs Provided by the Child Life Department

Preparation and Support for Medical Experiences
Providing hands-on use of play materials and actual medical equipment, and preparing for procedures using language that children understand.

Coping Strategies
Introducing coping strategies to help reduce anxiety and providing support and/or distraction during medical experiences.

Play and Expressive Activities
Offering opportunities for play, choices, and expressive activities which support normal development and help children maintain a sense of independence, self-esteem, and control.

Child Life Playroom
Providing an age-appropriate, emotionally and physically safe environment. This space is designed for inpatients to play, grow, develop, express and interact with their peers.

Children’s Hospital Library Program
The library program offers two libraries for patients, staff and families. The Book Corner is a lending library for inpatients and their families that offers books and movies for all ages. Book and movie carts visit the wards several times a week.  The Family Information Library (FIL) is for all families, caregivers, staff and patients. The FIL lends books and other resources about a wide range of child health topics. For more information on the FIL please visit:
www.hsc.mb.ca/family-info-library.html or email: [email protected]

Both libraries are free of charge and you don’t need a library card.

Book and reading promotion programs are also provided by Library Staff in out-patient clinics, NICU and the Mother Baby Unit.

Featured on Channel 41, this closed-circuit television station is exclusively for HSC Children’s Hospital.  It provides age-appropriate, commercial-free television programming every day.

“The Good Day Show” is a live, interactive show that broadcasts from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. It rebroadcasts at 4:00 p.m.

Music Therapy
Music therapy training not only includes a strong background in music, but also child and adolescent development, psychology and working in medical settings. The certified music therapist utilizes songs, music and a variety of instruments to promote exploration, communication, learning and participation.  This is all done to support the child’s development and the ability to cope while in hospital.  Children and teens of all ages respond naturally to music. Patients are encouraged to listen, dance, sing, play an instrument or to do all four! 


How You Can Help Your Child Cope with a Hospital Visit

  • Bring familiar things from home (pillows, blankets, toys, sippy cups, books and family pictures).
  • Be honest with your child, using gentle and simple language.
  • Reassure your child.
  • Prepare yourself so you can feel calm and relaxed.
  • Expect behaviour changes. Crying is okay.
  • Give your child a choice when able.
  • Praise your child.
  • Feel free to ask questions.

Much of the Child Life program funding is provided by gifts from generous donors through the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.

HSC Foundation logo
Children's Hospital Foundation logo
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