Child Life

"Do you know ..." is an educational series for patients and their families.

Children and teens taking antidepressants

Antidepressants are drugs used, most often, to treat depression. Depression is a complex illness that involves sad and hopeless feelings that do not go away. Read this handout to learn more about depression and the benefits and risks of taking antidepressants.

Comfort items

When children and teens come to the hospital, it can be a scary time for them because they are leaving behind everything they know as "home." Many families have found it helpful to bring comfort items with them for the patient.

Helping your child / teen cope with body changes

While your child / teen is at St. Jude, the treatments he receives may cause changes to his body. It is important to remember that most changes are temporary, and there are things you can do to help your child / teen cope.

Helping your preschool child cope with death

Helping your preschooler understand death will help him cope better. If you do not explain death to him in simple, honest terms, he will be left to imagine what has happened. These thoughts can often be scarier than the truth...

Helping your school-age child cope with death

Most school-age children have begun to understand what death means. They also may have started asking harder questions, such as "Why?" Your school-age child may wonder about the physical changes of the dead person's body...

Helping your teenager cope with death

Teens typically have a full understanding of death. If the person who dies is close in age to your teenager, he may be faced with the reality that not everyone lives until they are very old...

How patients react to hospital care

Common reactions of patients to their diagnoses and hospital care. Includes ways to support and help your child or teen through the hospital experience.

How siblings react to hospital care

Common reactions of siblings to the diagnosis and hospital care of a sick brother or sister. Includes ideas for helping your children who are not St. Jude patients.

Play areas

Daily play is important for children of any age. At St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, we have play areas in each outpatient area and on every inpatient unit. Most of the play areas are open 24 hours a day, except for a few in outpatient areas that close in the evening.

Preparing for surgery and other procedures

How to help your child/teen through a stressful event.

Preparing your child / teen for radiation

If children and teens are not given information about radiation treatment in words that they can understand, they are left to imagine what is going to happen. These thoughts can often be scarier than the truth.

Preparing your child for diagnostic imaging tests

This handout and the Child Life staff can help you prepare your child for various diagnostic imaging tests at St. Jude.

Preparing your child for the radiation simulation

Your child / teen is about to start radiation treatments. Most likely, the radiation oncologist or nurse has talked to you about the simulation - the set-up process for radiation. Many patients have unspoken fears, questions, and false ideas about what will happen during the simulation. Giving your child correct information that fits his age will help him cope better with this new process and correct any false ideas he might have.

Sex and treatment

When you are receiving treatment for a serious illness, many questions come to mind. Some may be about how your lifestyle will change. It is very normal to have questions about sex during treatment, even if you are not sexually active.

Talking to your child / teen about having a solid tumor

Helping your child/teen understand her solid tumor can help her cope better with treatment...

Talking with your child / teen about having a brain tumor

It is important to tell your child/teen about his brain tumor and answer his questions in honest, simple terms...

Talking with your child / teen about having leukemia

The following ideas may help you talk with your child/teen about leukemia. We suggest that you use the words "leukemia" and "cancer" openly. It will help him be more familiar with the words and feel more at ease when asking questions...

Transition from treatment

This handout lists some things you can do after treatment to help your child live as normally as possible. These tips can also help your family and friends with the transition from treatment.

Using comfort positions during stressful events

Sometimes stressful events can cause patients to feel a lack of control. Using comfort positions can help your child feel more in control.