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Child Life Services

At Children’s National Hospital, our certified child life specialists (CCLS) help create a positive experience for families during their child’s outpatient visit or inpatient hospital stay. Each CCLS has completed clinical training, holds a bachelor's or master's degree and is certified through the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Our child life team promotes positive coping through play, self-expression activities, age-appropriate medical preparation and diagnosis education. These interventions help to reduce patients’ fears and anxieties related to hospitalization and medical procedures. 

Child life specialists are responsible for the management of play spaces, unit playrooms and teen rooms at Children’s National Hospital. We provide games, toys and other play materials to normalize the hospital environment for patients of all ages. In addition, our team helps celebrate important milestones such as patient birthdays, end of treatment and discharges following lengthy admissions. 

Learn more about how child life can help.

How to Donate

Children’s National accepts brand new toys, books, clothes and gift cards for Dr. Bear’s Closet. These donations are given to patients and family members during their hospital stay to provide comfort, play opportunities and to normalize the hospital setting. 

At this time, we are able to accept donations via our Wish List or via mail only. 

For more information, please review our Donation Guidelines and Wish List.

Contact Us

Child Life Services can be reached at 202-476-8939. See our hours of operation at the main hospital.

More About Child Life Services