Child Life and Creative Therapies

Children’s Hospital New Orleans child & adolescent behavioral health centerVolunteer holding a doll while talking to a child with a mask pulled down

The mission of the Child Life and Creative Therapies Department is to provide quality therapeutic, supportive and educational interventions to help children and families master the hospital experience. The department focuses on evidence-based practices and research to provide the best care to the patients and families.

Child Life Specialists and Music and Recreation Therapists help patients understand the hospital experience through:

  • Education
  • Preparation
  • Alternative pain management support
  • Play
  • Creative expression
  • Peer interaction

The goal of Child Life and Creative Therapies is to make the medical experience a positive one. With patient and family-centered care as the focus, the specialists work together to treat the child and family in the best way possible.Volunteer sitting with a masked child while painting on a paper on the floor

The specialists and therapists use play, recreation and music to provide opportunities for the patients that encourage coping skills, growth and development, socialization and expression of feelings. The hospital also has play and teen rooms that provide developmentally appropriate and engaging activities throughout the day. Monthly scheduled events such as ZOOmobile, funny bones, Bugmobile, BINGO, yoga and a variety of other activities offer patients and families the opportunity to enjoy their stay in the hospital.

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The playroom offers a welcoming environment where hospitalized children of all ages, as well as their family members, can gather to play with toys, participate in board games, video games or arts and crafts. It allows patients the opportunity to get out of their room and be a kid. The playroom is a medical and procedure-free “safe zone” where patients are encouraged to make their own choices.

Teen room

The Teen Room is a place for hospitalized teenagers to “hang out” and be with their teenage siblings and friends, ages 13 to 21. This room is specifically designed to meet the needs of teen and young adult patients. The teen room is outfitted with music, movies, video game systems, computers, and a variety of interesting arts and crafts.

Evening activities

Pet Therapy is offered on Monday evenings and is coordinated through the Child Life and Creative Therapies Department.


Pet Therapy with two dogs