Hi! Welcome to Child Life Saver! I'm so happy you're here! I'm Kara Kimball, a Certified Child Life Specialist, Utah native and mother of two. I also have a BS in Family Life with a Human Development emphasis from Brigham Young University.
You probably don't know what a "Child Life Specialist" is and highlighting this incredible field is one of the reasons why I started this blog! When I discovered the Child Life profession, my first impression was that I would be just playing with kids who were hospitalized. After learning more I realized how needed Child Life Specialists are for patients and families. However, it wasn't until I completed my additional Child Life coursework at the University of Utah that I discovered how deeply complex, so so needed, and vital this profession truly is! After a lot of volunteer hours at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City and Shriner's Hospital in Philadelphia, I completed my internship and began working at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
After 4 years in Philadelphia, I then moved to my current home in Southern California for my husband's medical residency. We love our just-about weekly Disneyland visits.
I love learning about children and their development and I'm thrilled to be sharing a bit of what I love and am so passionate about - helping children grow and develop despite having to endure and cope with such difficult medical experiences. Enjoy Child Life, I know it will be a life-saver for you and your little ones!
About Child Life Saver
After becoming a mother, I realized what a huge advantage I have during my kids' healthcare experiences. I felt it was unfair that other parents don't know what I know, many aren't aware of Child Life Specialists, and I also recognized that many hospitals don't have Child Life Specialists yet to help all families through these tough times. I also understand that Child Life Specialists serve a large patient population and there just aren't enough professionals for every child to receive Child Life services; they certainly can't follow you to your child's routine pediatrician check-up. That's why Child Life Saver was born.
One of my most memorable professional experiences was with a 6-year-old girl in the Radiology Department. Just before her IV was placed and after I had shown and explained to her what was going to happen and why she called me a doctor. I responded, "No, I'm not a doctor....that's not my job. What is my job called?" And she said, "Child Life.... Saver!" At that moment, everything I had ever studied, learned, worked for and had been so passionate about felt fulfilled. I couldn't have agreed with that statement more! Child Life Specialists, while they may not save children's lives physically, they save them emotionally, developmentally, and socially during the most stressful and traumatic times of their lives through play, preparation, education, and many other therapeutic interventions. I believe Child Life saves children's lives every day and I know that you too can help save your child from the stress and trauma of their medical experiences by learning some tips and tricks of my trade!
What's Child Life?
So, what exactly is #childlife? What does it mean for you? I'm sure you are wondering what this is all about. Tomorrow I'll answer these questions for you, so stay tuned for my next post! And in the meantime, subscribe to my mailing list, FOLLOW on Instagram and Pinterest, and LIKE on Facebook so you won't miss out on this whole new world that's going to change your life as a caregiver! Seriously!
Come back tomorrow for my first post. We're on our way to becoming #childlifesavers!