Supporting Hospitalized Families and Health Care Providers One Sip at a Time. Child Life Coffee: Spotlight and Giveaway

We all know how coffee can be the lifeline to getting through stress. Sitting at the bedside with your child or working long hours in the hospital, caffeine can bring a little pick me up with a sense of normalcy. I was thrilled to learn about one amazing family who has walked alongside their son on his medical journey and found a way to give back to others. Read about the Emo family and how they are making a positive impact on families and medical providers through Child Life Coffee.

Guest Blogger, Todd and Morgan Emo, Founders of Child Life Coffee

Child Life Coffee offers high-quality coffee at competitive prices, but the real benefit of sipping on our coffee is knowing that every purchase provides support to children and families in hospital settings. One cup at a time, CLC supports Child Life Programs that have a direct impact on children’s physical and emotional health and well-being. We also strive to ensure that families and healthcare workers have the energy they need by regularly sending our coffee to local hospitals.

We partnered with several of the finest roasters in the country to create our premium coffee line full of traditional and exotic varieties. Our coffee beans are sourced directly from hard-working, reputable producers around the world, and roasted only after your order is received. Then, it’s shipped directly from our roasters to you in two to three days, ensuring the freshest cup of coffee every time.

By drinking our coffee, you are helping us change lives. You can feel less guilty about your coffee addiction, knowing it is directly restoring hope to children and families who experience a hospitalization. We think you’ll also love receiving fresh, delicious, and affordable coffee right to your doorstep.

Inspiration Behind Child Life Coffee

Our son was diagnosed with an exceedingly rare liver condition called Biliary Atresia. This disease affects about 1 in every 15,000 infants, and most require a liver transplant within their first year of life to survive. James received his life-saving liver transplant when he was just eight months old after a very generous extended family member, who we lovingly refer to as Auntie Elise, stepped forward to donate 30% of her liver. Her courage and selflessness saved James’ life, and for that, we are forever grateful. Even now, there is not a day that goes by where we do not think of her life-altering gift. She may not know it, but she truly is our hero.

During the eight months leading up to his liver transplant, and many months after, our family lived at the hospital. We never left James alone in his hospital crib, and it was a constant battle for his life. Between learning about his condition, navigating being first-time parents, and preparing for his transplant, we felt like we were running an endless marathon.

Along the way, we met many families who were also experiencing hardship, many of whom could not be at their child’s bedside 24/7 like we were for James. We also became acquainted with the healthcare team and got to know every nurse, technician, and staff member on every shift. Around this time, we learned about Child Life Specialists.

The whole medical team did an excellent job treating our baby, but it was the Child Life Specialists who had the most significant impact. They are so passionate about what they do, and they demonstrated it every single day. They always reminded us we were not in this alone and provided us the support and resources we desperately needed at the time. We didn’t know it at the time, but their support helped keep us out of dark places.

Where to Purchase

You can purchase a variety of roasts, flavors, and tease from Childlifecoffee.com. Be sure to follow on Facebook and Instagram

Win a $25.00 gift card to purchase your choice of coffee or tea.  Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and Child Life Coffee, tag two friends.
  3. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @ChildLifeCoffee, tag two friends.
  4. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy.

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 6/11/21. Open to U.S. residents.

 

Supporting Tubies with FreeArm Care: Spotlight and Giveaway

Guest Blogger, Misti Staley from FreeArm Tube Feeding Assitant 

The FreeArm lends a hand at the hospital, home and on-the-go. It provides more mobility with syringe feeding, pump feeding, and infusions.
The FreeArm clamps to surfaces such as tables, cribs, strollers, you name it. And works as a travel IV pole, easily bending up to fit in your bag.

It provides consistent feeds and infusions anywhere, anytime. With the FreeArm’s bendable arm, you can take the guesswork out of how high to hold the gravity syringe and keep lines free from kinks.

Inspiration behind FreeArm

Freeman Ellis Staley was born on April 25, 2015. He spent 3.5 months in the NICU at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. His parents, Will and Misti spent every day by his side cheering him on. Freeman was discharged with a g-tube, bolus gravity feeds during the day and pump feeds at night.

While home, Misti and Will were overwhelmed with tube feeding their son. They had medicines to add to his feeds, and multiple therapies to perform all while holding Freeman, and his bolus feeds. They needed a helping hand, so they created one…the FreeArm!

After 5 hard but wonderful weeks at home, Freeman’s breathing became labored and Will and Misti returned to the hospital with Freeman for a chest x-ray. Freeman and his family spent another long 5 months in the PICU before Freeman lost his battle with pulmonary hypertension at almost 10 months old, the day after Valentine’s Day 2016.

It has been 5 years since Will and Misti lost Freeman. They are happy to continue Freeman’s love through the FreeArm and FreeArm Muscle, making IV infusions, bolus, and pump feeding easier for families and hospital staff around the world.

We have teamed up with Medi Teddy for a giveaway to celebrate Child Life Month. Learn more about Medi Teddy from our previous post.

We will choose two winners!

One child life specialist will win- a FreeArm Muscle in the color of their choice to use in their hospital for fun feeding times, a Hope Medi Teddy IV Bag Cover (plastic & reusable)and a Medi Teddy sticker and adult t-shirt.
Tubie family will win- a FreeArm Muscle in the color of their choice, a Bailey Medi Teddy IV Bag Cover (plush & machine washable), and a Medi Teddy sticker and child t-shirt.

 

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy, tag two friends that would love this giveaway.
  3. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, @Freearm.Tube.Feeding.Assitant,  @Meddi_Teddy let us know what hospital you are at, and tag two friends that would love this giveaway.
  4. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy, tag two friends that would love this giveaway.

Good luck, the winners will be chosen by 3/19/21.

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Decrease Needle Fear and Pain with Smileyscope

There was a recent study by the US National Library of Medicine that states that 50% of children have needle fear. Adults can also struggle, especially when they have experienced a traumatic needle procedure as a child.

Child life specialists provide developmentally appropriate information about medical procedures and teach children coping skills.  One tool that many specialists incorporate is virtual reality (VR) goggles. Being immersed in a VR game or video can help distract patients and allow medical providers to complete their job without causing trauma.

I’m thrilled to share an amazing new resource that is supporting children with needle fear, Smileyscope. I had the opportunity to play with SmileyScope and see all the features it offers. The one thing that I loved the most is that it provides patients with an underwater experience that aligns with receiving a needle procedure such as a blood draw, vaccination, or port access.

Guest Blogger, Michelle Loughery from Smileyscope 

Understanding from other Child Life Specialists I have talked with, Covid-19 has significantly changed the way your profession supports children and families’ medical experiences. There is now an innovative option that reframes needle procedures – which children fear the most – and can assist you on several levels. Smileyscope will enable you to be better equipped to ‘social distance,’ while still successfully achieving your objectives to improve patients’ fear and anxiety in stressful environments.

Smileyscope is a 510K exempt, Class I medical-grade Virtual Reality (VR) goggle with proprietary software for:

  • Needle procedures – a choreographed “underwater adventure” to help reduce pain, anxiety, and first-stick success, with virtual waves that match when the clinician cleans with antiseptic, and fish nibble when the needle is inserted (this is patented and unique to Smileyscope)
  • Deep breathing – to support patients during times of high anxiety and distress, with a focus on being calm
  • Wellness – mindfulness and relaxation with music therapy, to allow children to virtually visit with seals and kittens, and also experience a virtual “cafe”

The goal is to improve the experience for the patient, parents, and health care providers and to reduce workplace disruption and costly delays or multiple attempts of the procedure. Smileyscope was developed by a multidisciplinary team – including CLSs – with two large RCT trials performed (The Journal of Pediatrics) documenting the efficacy in reducing pain, anxiety, and the need for restraints in patients 4-11 years of age. The facilities in which the trial took place were Monash Children’s and Royal Children’s Hospitals, both in Melbourne, Australia, where Smileyscope as a company was founded.

Smileyscope’s VR goggles are specifically designed for easy disinfection between patients and exceeds hospital infection control standards. It is very easy to learn and use, requiring no change to your standard protocols for blood draws, IV catheters, or port accesses. Although several anesthesiologists have mentioned the need to wait to place an IV, provide a nerve block, or do a lumbar puncture after the child is sedated, all of these processes are done in the OR. Those in this arena understand Smileyscope could benefit them by using it as a distraction initially, eliminating the delay.

Where to Purchase

You can order Smileyscope directly from their website, by calling (888) 300-7117 or emailing sales@smileyscope.com.

Be sure to follow Smileyscope on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.

 

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