Nationally ranked care. Another way our love for kids just keeps on growing.

 Certified specialists in child development 

The mission of the Child Life Department at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital is to advocate for the psychosocial, developmental, emotional and educational needs of all our patients and families. We strive to create a supportive environment, while helping empower patients and their families to make decisions affecting their care.

Getting Ready for Your Hospital Visit

What is Child Life?

Meet the Child Life Team

Preparing your child for a hospital stay

What happens when you go for a test

Words you may hear in the hospital

Book resources fo parents

Pet therapy

Hospital playrooms 

Bereavement services


Online Activities and Education for Kids 

Patient Coloring Book

Starlight Children's Foundation Games and Activities

VIDEO: "When your classmate has cancer"

VIDEO: "Same Day Surgery"



If you are interested in donating to our patients, follow the links below:

Patient Wish List

Starlight Children's Foundation


Groups and Visitors

The Child Life Department is responsible for scheduling outside entertainment and groups for the benefit of our patients. A variety of personalities and organizations generously give of their time to help make our patients' stays a little brighter.

Special Visitor Policy


Volunteer Information

The Child Life Department relies on dedicated volunteers every day. Volunteers are primarily responsible for overseeing the playrooms, visiting patients at the bedside and assisting with scheduled special events.

If you are interested in volunteering with Child Life, follow the link below:

Apply to Be a Volunteer


Internship Information

The Child Life Department at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital offers a 640 hour (16 week) comprehensive internship for Fall and Spring semesters. Our program is designed for students or graduates in the discipline of child development or related areas who have fieldwork experience with hospitalized children, and are seeking to enter the Child Life profession. A Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) will supervise the student while he/she participates in clinical experiences with children and families. To be an eligible candidate you must be a college senior or college graduate and possess:

  • At least 100 hours of practicum experience within a child life department under the direct supervision of a CCLS.
  • At least 100 hours of volunteer work experience with infants, toddlers, school-age and adolescents.
  • Successful completion and documentation of the core curriculum classes, including a course taught by a CCLS as approved by a Child Life Council Eligibility Assessment/Coursework Review

We accept one intern for fall (August to December) and one intern for spring (January to May) semester. Our interns will gain experience with a wide variety of patients. Rotation options typically consist of the following units: Infant/Toddler General Medicine, School-age/Adolescent Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, Pediatric Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Transitional Care Unit, Dialysis, Emergency Department, Procedure Center, Diagnostic Imaging and Outpatient Surgery.

We can only accept interns affiliated with a college or university.

Child Life Internship Application


Practicum Information

The purpose of the child life practicum program at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital is to prepare students for child life internships. This eight week/120 hour practicum is offered in the summer semester, generally during June and July. Practicum students will attend interactive seminars and can expect to gain knowledge while observing and participating in the job duties of certified child life specialists. The practicum consists of two, four week rotations, gaining experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Child Life Practicum Application