Happy Friday from Chicago! It was another eventful day here at the Child Life Conference. A few highlights:
- The Emma Plank Opening Keynote Address, delivered by developmental pediatrician Dr. Larry Gray: Dr. Gray’s talk revolved around infant development, and how crucial early relationships are to a child’s success later in life.
- Cheering on Children’s child life specialists Jodi Betsinger and Stephanie Smith during their presentation on the use of nitrous oxide for pediatric sedation.
- Valuable afternoon breakout sessions, such as “Employee Engagement–Why It Matters” and “On-The-Job Training for New Child Life Specialists.”
The conference Exhibit Hall opened this evening, so it was also a lot of fun to walk around and chat with the (nearly 70!) exhibitors. Some exhibitors I recognized, such as CaringBridge and Beads of Courage, but there were also a large number of new & innovative companies/products. The most creative, I thought, came from a company called Kelsey’s Kids: they make “marshmallow launchers” to help kids with respiratory difficulties move air through their lungs in a fun & humorous way! (I now have my own complimentary marshmallow launcher to bring back to Minnesota…YAHOO!) Overall, it was another great day of networking, sharing time with my Children’s-MN colleagues, and meeting many new child life specialists from around the globe! I’ll share highlights from Day 3 tomorrow!