We know that a hospital visit can be extremely challenging, emotional and frightening for children and their families. That is why St. David Children’s Hospital offers our patients and families the support of a Certified Child Life Specialist:

Certified Child Life Specialists are educated and trained in the psychosocial and developmental impact of illness and injury. They can help promote effective coping and support you and your family by providing:

Medical Preparation & Education

Developmentally appropriate explanations and support to children and their families undergoing a procedure, test, surgery or new diagnosis. By providing the right information based on the child’s unique situation, Child Life Specialists can help address fear/misconceptions and reduce anxiety.


Through a variety of coping techniques such as alternative focus, relaxation exercises and comfort measures, Child Life Specialists can help reduce the pain and anxiety associated with stressful hospital experiences and procedures.

Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Incorporating the entire family by advocating for patient rights, educating parents about positive ways to help their child cope with their experience and helping siblings navigate and understand illness and hospitalization.

Play Opportunities

Facilitate therapeutic and medical play activities for children to help educate, decrease pain and anxiety, promote normalization, allow for expression, and support optimal development and coping during hospitalizations.

Community Involvement and Donations

We are grateful to have such loving support from the community for our patients and families who undergo treatment here at St. David’s Children’s Hospital. Special events, holiday celebrations and group-led activities are so valuable for hospitalized children who are separated from what is most familiar to them. Donations from community members are endlessly appreciated by our patients, families and staff.


If you are interested in donating toys to St. David’s Children’s Hospital, please view our Child Life Wish List or contact the Child Life office at (512) 901-1999 for guidelines.

Volunteer Opportunities

To learn about volunteering opportunities with our Pediatric Team, please contact our Volunteer Department.