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Child life

Child life

Child life

The child life department at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Galveston provides patient- and family-centered care to assist in meeting the developmental, social and emotional needs of our patients and families to make their overall hospital experience a positive one. The child life department consists of child life specialists, child life assistants and a certified music therapist to assist children of all ages throughout their continuity of care.

Certified child life specialists work to reduce fear and anxiety of patients and families during hospitalization using opportunities for effective coping through play, preparation, education and self-expression activities. They provide emotional support for families and encourage optimal development of children facing an array of challenging healthcare experiences. Several child life programs are offered at the Galveston Shriners Hospital.

Skin care and make-up program

The skin care and make-up program offered at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Galveston offers corrective cosmetic consultations to promote self-confidence, self-efficacy and coping through the introduction of personal care. Consultations include color matching services and application tutorials to minimize and/or even the appearance of burn scars and skin-color differences. The technique is noninvasive and follows an education-based model to increase self-esteem and ease school and community reentry.

Benefits Include:

  • Creating symmetry of facial features
  • Evening of skin tone/s
  • Creating illusion of features that may be missing such as lip lines or eyebrows
  • Positive perception of self
  • Increased self-confidence

School re-entry program

Returning to school after sustaining a burn injury or enduring a prolonged hospital stay can be both overwhelming and stressful for children and their families. The school re-entry program is ideal for any child who has experienced a burn injury, trauma or diagnosis that has caused substantial changes to the child’s lifestyle and/or aspect of self. The school re-entry program at the Galveston Shriners Hospital sets itself apart from other national school re-entry programs because it is individualized to each patient. The program facilitates adjustment upon a patient’s return to school by educating the patient’s teachers and peers. In doing so, teachers and peers become an essential part of the re-entry process, ensuring the transition is a healthy, supportive, safe and positive process.

Services Include:

  • Personalized DVD made by staff discussing patients abilities, needs and necessary accommodations
  • Personalized picture books describing the patient’s recovery story
  • Regional on-site visits to patient’s schools

To qualify for an on-site, re-entry school visit, the patient must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Total body surface area (TBSA) burn of greater than 30 percent
  • Visible burns/disfigurement to face or extremity
  • Their injury resulted in a significant physical alteration (e.g. amputation, prosthetic)
  • They endured trauma to their senses (vision and/or hearing loss)
  • The patient's condition significantly affects their aspect of self (e.g. congenital malformations, skin conditions, subcutaneous tissue infections, surgical reconstruction, tissue expanders)

Special activities

Throughout the year, various community partners and organizations are welcome to plan and implement special activities for patients and families in collaboration with our child life, public relations and donor development departments. If you would like to schedule an event or community outing for patients and their families, please contact the child life department at 409-770-6800.


Camp opportunities for children, teens and young adults who have experienced certain medical diagnoses, trauma and/or extended hospitalization, are available throughout the country and expanding across the globe. Each camp offers a unique experience and has its own criteria for participation. Camps may be fun-based, therapeutically based or challenge-based. Consider your child’s needs and what type of camp setting may be best for them.

If you would like more information on camp opportunities near you, please contact the child life department at 409-770-6800.

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