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Patients, siblings and St. Jude Child Life staff enjoy the Spring Fling semi-formal dance, held in the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion. The event, held in conjunction with Mardi Gras, is tailored exclusively for 10- to 14-year-old patients and their siblings. The Spring Fling is one of dozens of activities that the Child Life Program provides each month for children at St. Jude.
Being diagnosed with a new illness and coming to the hospital can be stressful for a family. The Child Life Program works to minimize that stress and anxiety as much as possible.
Child Life Specialists work closely with children and teens to provide non-threatening, age-appropriate explanations and preparations. This individualized education helps them to not only understand what is happening but also to build trust and confidence so that they know what to expect during this time of many changes.
Child Life Specialists also create many opportunities for play and expressive activities that promote patients’ and siblings’ optimal development, an outlet for feelings, peer interaction, a sense of mastery, or developed coping. These therapeutic opportunities are offered daily on an individual basis (bedside) and as a group (in one of our play areas or teen rooms). Special events, such as the Spring Fling, provide yet another avenue for patients to maintain a sense of normalcy during a stressful time in their lives.