Minimizing the anxiety your child may have about treatments, tests or hospitalization can make things better for everyone in your family. At Riley at IU Health, our Child Life Program uses many therapeutic activities to serve your child’s social, emotional and educational needs.
We believe in the importance of play, and we strive to provide your child with opportunities to keep them moving toward developmental milestones and practicing emotional expression through play.
Our Child Life Program promotes:
Children learn socialization, communication and coping skills through play and activities organized by knowledgeable, understanding people who care about their needs.
Child Life specialists are trained professionals with advanced education in child life, child health, child development and/or related fields. We work closely with all healthcare providers at Riley at IU Health to serve your child’s needs, including:
Child Life specialists work with children throughout the hospital, including inpatient units, outpatient clinics, day surgery, radiology and Emergency Medicine.
The Child Life Zone is an area inside Riley at IU Health where patients and their families can play, learn, laugh and relax. Built through support from Teammates for Kids Foundation, our Child Life Zone is one of the nation’s largest hospital playrooms.
Families can use the Child Life Zone from 10 am to 7:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Participate in activities scheduled daily or watch our broadcast on Channel 5 of your child’s TV. Our schedule is always posted outside the Child Life Zone.
Riley at IU Health encourages your family to explore the Child Life Zone, which offers the following family-friendly features:
We welcome all inpatients and outpatients accompanied by an adult. Outpatients and guests must complete a health screen before entering. Inpatients need a pass from their nurse. Staff can explain guidelines for using the Child Life Zone.
When a child is hospitalized or receiving treatments, family entertainment often takes a backseat to healing and recovery. Your child may not be able to attend a ballgame or visit a museum, but we can often bring these things to Riley at IU Health.
Throughout the year, the activity rooms on each unit and in the Child Life Zone are filled with special events for patients and families. These events are made possible through the generosity of sports and entertainment celebrities, community outreach organizations, museums and corporations. Inpatients and outpatients visiting Riley at IU Health on the day of an event are welcome to attend.
We encourage children to participate in special events, which can enhance their healing process and relieve stress for everyone in the family. Each event begins with freedom of choice: do you want to participate and what do you want to do once you are there?
These events are organized for your child’s entertainment and your child can choose to opt in or out, depending on his/her preference. Even the simplest choices may help your child feel more in charge at a time when life may feel beyond their control.
Check our events calendar for a complete schedule of upcoming events your family can enjoy together.
Riley at IU Health receives many free tickets to local activities, concerts and sporting events for outpatients and their families. If your family would like to receive regular notices when ticket opportunities are available, please submit a request .
Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health
705 Riley Hospital Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health North Hospital
1700 N. Meridian Street
Carmel, IN 46032
Physicians, healthcare providers or family members can contact the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapies staff by email.
The Child Life and Creative Arts Therapies Department at Riley at IU Health offers occasional internship opportunities and career education for students who are interested in child life, music therapy or art therapy. If you are interested in learning more about related education, check this page for updates about internships and scheduled educational events, or send us an email.