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Medical Play

child with dollMedical play allows your child to explore aspects of the medical environment that may be unfamiliar and frightening. Medical play can provide your child with a sense of mastery and control, self-expression, and can alleviate misconceptions about medical situations.

Play is a child’s work and is a way children cope with their fears and anxieties. When child life specialists facilitate medical play they are educating and assessing your child’s understanding.

Tools used during medical play:
• Actual medical equipment
• Teaching doll or blank cloth doll
• Pictures

Before medical play begins,
• Give the child life specialist verbal permission to facilitate medical play with your child
• Choose a safe and non-threatening environment
• Allow your child to choose what kind of medical supplies are needed
• Let your child assign roles and routine for the play procedure
• Be aware of when your child has had enough information

Age appropriate medical play (PDF)