Many of the programs offered by the Child Life department are made possible through generous donations from individuals, businesses and organizations. To learn how to support any of the following programs, please call 847.723.PLAY and select option #2.
Special Events Program (All ages)
Special events are planned throughout the year to celebrate life, and include: birthday celebrations, Winter Celebration, Costume Day, Valentines Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving, Child Life month (March), Spring Celebration, 4th of July, Labor Day and Easter Day. Each one-day event typically costs around $200.00, which purchases food for 50 inpatients and their families.
Treasure Box Program
Treasure boxes filled with toys and age appropriate gifts are located throughout the children's hospital. These toys and gifts are given as rewards to young patients, following an invasive procedure. Funding is needed to purchase small items such as stickers and toys.
Infants and toddlers make up a large part of Advocate Children's Hospital - Park Ridge's inpatient population. These patients would benefit from a special supervised program designed to address their needs. Such a program would also provide additional support to parents. Monetary donations are needed to create the program and purchase resources.
Shadow BuddyTM Program
Shadow BuddiesTM have been designed to be both a "friend like me" and a teaching tool. These warm, huggable toys for boys and girls help take the place of friends who cannot be around when needed most. Shadow Buddies also help children and their family members cope with their condition. When seen first on their "Buddy", a scar or catheter has far less impact. This in turn makes it easier for health professionals to provide appropriate, successful treatment. To learn more about Shadow Buddies visit www.shadowbuddies.com.
This fund would be used to purchase a new toy for a child who is hospitalized on their birthday. Gifts, party supplies, and food would cost approximitally $50.00 per party.
Ice Cream Social events
Patients and families often need a little fun and excitement during their stay in the hospital. Ice Cream Socials can provide an outlet for patients and families to socialize with other families and enjoy a tasty treat.
Child Life Month
In celebration of the profession as child life specialists, the Child Life Council has dedicated March as the month to celebrate Child Life. During Child Life month our staff designs programming to celebrate our profession and provides special giveaways and events to inform patients, families, staff, and the community about the CL profession.
The Child Life staff uses a coping items to help reduce anxiety associated with treatment by distracting young patients during invasive medical procedures or times of stress. The cart contains an intriguing selection of play materials and unique toys with special designs.
3 Photography Program: ($500 per session)
Photography program, enhance self-esteem and positive body image, despite illness or injury. Professional photographers engage patients in playful situations with the hopes of capturing an outer image that reflects the beauty of the inner self. This program helps children and adolescents face life's challenges and are sponsored at Advocate Children's Hospital through donated funds. This is a unique photography program and is offered several times yearly.
The funding would purchase the materials used to print and make the photos. The photographer donates their time and skills
Photo journaling/Therapeutic Scrap Booking Program
Images of the medical world, and a young patients place within this unfamiliar and frightening place, can often leave a child feeling anxious. By establishing a child's sense of control over their environment, can achieve mastery over a difficult situation. One way to allow children to process their health care experience is through taking photos and using personal journals and scrapbooks. A blank book can be filled with photos taken by the patient, artwork, and colorful stickers. Hand drawn designs can be added to create a personalized account of the hospital stay. Once feelings are brought to the surface, they are more easily dealt with, and emotional recovery can occur. Ideally we would like to contract monthly services.
Horticulture Therapy Program
Horticultural Therapy and Plant Therapy provides physical and psychological value for patients and serves to enhance the hospital environment. Each incorporates the use of plants, and other natural materials to help provide an outlet for healing. The healing elements of nature are evident as patient/children create seasonal projects utilizing natural materials. A trained staff Horticultural therapist would assist in facilitating a group activity in activity rooms on the pediatric and adolescent units of Advocate Children's Hospital. In addition they will provide horticultural activities at bedside for those patients who are unable to leave their room. Projects created would be taken home upon discharge and provide long lasting, and positive reminder of the hospital.
Open Heart Magic Program
Bedside magic is performs through volunteer magicians. Funded is needed for magic kits which are given patients weekly so each patient can learn the secret, lessons on magic.
Pediatric Bereavement Photography Program
Photographs taken of pediatric palliative care patients with family, friends and caregivers may serve as tangible mementos of a specific challenging time but more importantly as touchstones for feelings and memories pertaining to deep significant relationships and spiritual connections. The images become increasingly more valuable as an illness progresses and/or death occurs as patients' and survivors' typically have a need to hold on to bonds of love, some of which may flourish in the intimacy of last days or months. Patients in the NICU, PICU and General Peds. unit as well as outpatients will benefit from this part of the program. There is a successful history of this photography work for the last 7 years in conjunction with the prenatal bereavement program at LGH. Bereavement photography offered to pediatric populations may also provide benefits to grieving parents and families. It is so valuable to provide families with lasting memories through warm, documentary photographs of parents' time with their children in the hospital.
Snoezelen Relaxation Module for MRI
SNOEZELEN has been found to be effective for a variety of clients in a variety of situations. Currently, researchers are studying the efficacy of SNOEZELEN multisensory environments in relieving stress and anxiety for patient's under-going treatments. This would be added to the MRI for all to enjoy.
On occasion, there are families with extreme financial hardships. Facing not only the burden of medical expenses, but also the related expenses that can occur, becomes overwhelming. A designated fund to offer families in need of transportation, parking, meals, telephone calling cards, childcare for siblings, etc. would be most appreciated. At times, these factors prevent a parent's ability to visit their child during hospitalization. Some financial assistance would encourage family involvement and promote well-being of all.
MASSAGE THERAPY PROGRAM FOR PARENTS
Parents of hospitalized children are under a tremendous amount of stress. Child life incorporates services that focused on the entire family's ability to cope. Since there is a direct correlation between a parent's comfort level and their child's anxiety, it is essential to support parents as much as possible. Stress factors associated with illness, combined with physical discomforts (often occurring from long periods of sitting, prolonged holding of small children in an attempt to comfort, and sleeping in less than ideal accommodations) often lead to heightened tensions.
Large scale items:
Child Life Specialists Positions:
*Preoperative tours/Ambulatory Surgery
Preparation is an essential component when reducing the emotional traumas associated with hospilization. In those outpatient areas, invasive procedures comely occur. Fear can be significantly offset when a child understands what is to be expected, and is encouraged to be an active participant, rather than "passive victim". Through Child Life interventions, such as tours, medical play, and instructional picture books, young children are better able learn about their health care in an accurate and informed manner. They can then gain mastery in an otherwise overwhelming environment; becoming better equipped to cope with challenging experiences, even beyond discharge. Child Life Specialist also adds elements of fun through playful activities that create a positive impression of healthcare that can last a lifetime
Closed Circuit Television
The closed-circuit television provides opportunities for participation from all hospitalized children including patients who are immobilized and/or on isolation. Playroom activities that could be broadcasted to the patient rooms include bingo, magic shows, music therapy and other special visitors we have participating in the playroom so that every patient has the ability to participate in the various activities. Through games, patients will be able to interact with the activity by winning prizes, calling in for BINGO, playing as a family, etc. It allows opportunities for building self-esteem, promotes family bonding and brings fun to the bedside by decreasing their feelings of isolation and instead giving them a sense of belonging to the hospital through their involvement. By allowing all patients and families to feel a part of the community, their health will also benefit. Closed-circuit television can also be used as an educational tool by providing patient education through medical play or even parenting education through perhaps an infant massage therapy session. Overall, the closed-circuit television can provide entertainment and education and enhance patient's self esteem. It provides a positive and entertaining experience for patients and families that will be memorable even after the patients leave the hospital