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Who are child-life specialists and how can they help siblings of children with a serious illness?

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Child-life specialists give individualized attention to siblings of sick children. They help identify siblings' needs, talk to them about difficult topics, and coach parents on how to talk to their kids and answer their questions. Specialists also prepare children to visit a sibling in the hospital, explain procedures and diagnoses using props, and offer expressive outlets through guided art and play activities.

SOURCES:

Chapman, R. L. and Colson, E. R., editors. "Death and Dying: Caring for Sick Children and their Families." Merck Manual Professional. January 2010.

Helene Morgan, LCSW, Comfort and Palliative Care Team, Los Angeles Children's Hospital.

Arden O'Donnell, LCSW, Pain and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center.

Kendra Frederick, CCLS, Certified Child Life Specialist, Pediatric Oncology Unit, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital.

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on August 11, 2017

SOURCES:

Chapman, R. L. and Colson, E. R., editors. "Death and Dying: Caring for Sick Children and their Families." Merck Manual Professional. January 2010.

Helene Morgan, LCSW, Comfort and Palliative Care Team, Los Angeles Children's Hospital.

Arden O'Donnell, LCSW, Pain and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center.

Kendra Frederick, CCLS, Certified Child Life Specialist, Pediatric Oncology Unit, Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital.

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on August 11, 2017

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