Child Life Specialists

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Child Life Specialists

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The hospital environment can be an intimidating and frightening place for children and adolescents as they encounter many new faces and overwhelming feelings of loss of control. Child Life specialists at Swedish strive to reduce the negative impact of stressful or traumatic events and situations that affect the development, health, and well-being of infants, children, youth and families. 

Child Life services available at the First Hill campus are in the Pediatric inpatient unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, surgery, radiology and Pediatric procedural sedation unit. Child Life services available at the Issaquah campus are in outpatient surgery, Pediatric inpatient unit and radiology. Child Life services available at the Cherry Hill campus are in MRI and the special procedures unit (SPA-U) upon request.

Appointments & Referrals

Child Life Services are available to all pediatric patients. Let your nurse or doctor know if you are interested in having a Child Life Specialist visit with you or your child during your hospital stay. Please call us at 206-386-6283.

Certified Child Life Specialists

Certified Child Life Specialists are part of the healthcare team at Swedish. They are available to promote the health and well-being of hospitalized children and families by providing the following services:

  • Developmentally appropriate education and preparation about illnesses, procedures, and treatments

  • Support through medical procedures

  • Strategies to encourage positive coping through relaxation and distraction techniques

  • Individualized and group play sessions to promote normalcy and optimal development

  • Coordination of special events, entertainment, holiday celebrations and donations

  • Family-centered care practices and advocacy

  • Pre-operative tours

  • Bereavement and grief support

  • Sibling support

  • Volunteer management

  • Pet therapy

Pre-Operative Tours

Pre-operative tours are provided to prepare children and parents for an upcoming scheduled surgery under anesthesia. These are individualized sessions with a Child Life Specialist who will walk you through the day of surgery process. The tours are fun, interactive, and educational. They are geared to reduce the anxiety related to a child's anticipated surgery and are tailored to meet the social and emotional needs of your child. Call us to schedule. 


If you are interested in donating toys to the pediatric unit at Swedish, please contact us at (206) 386-6283.

Pediatrics and Child Life services Donation Guidelines

Pediatrics and Child Life services are always thrilled when staffs, patients or the community choose to donate to our pediatric patients. However, due to hospital infection control policy, ALL DONATIONS MUST BE NEW AND UNUSED. The only USED donations we are able to accept are DVD’s and X-Box One Games as they can be thoroughly disinfected.