Emily Murray, Sidelines Analyst
Emily Murray

About me
A recent transplant to the Bay Area, I used to run the child life department at Harlem Hospital Center in New York City. Child life, in a nutshell, is a pediatric subspecialty, focusing on child development, family support, and pediatric medicine. Child life specialists help children and families understand their diagnoses and treatments; cope with changes and loss; normalize the hospital environment by providing developmentally-appropriate play; and work as part of the pediatric healthcare team to prepare children for medical procedures, while helping to manage pain and stress. I have seen first-hand how these simple ideas, put into practice, can have a powerful impact on a child's experience of the hospital, and of healthcare in general. Now that I am no longer practicing in a hospital setting, I hope to bring the skills, tricks, and tips I learned there to a wider audience, and help more children and families.
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2 years ago

Empowered adults help children heal.

Empowered adults help children heal.

It’s a powerful idea, and one that has caught and held my attention. Supported parents are better parents, just as healthy parents are better parents!

From this idea, a company was born and launched ...

Unleashing the Inner Artist: How early exposure to painting, drawing, and design can help your child acquire critical life skills

For me, art will always begin with my mother. She would come into my elementary school classes as part of a program called "Learning to Look," and would bring in enlarged reproductions of paintings like 'George Washington Crossing the Delaware ...

Outside the bubble: getting your children's hands dirty!

In Northern Wales, there’s a playground called The Land. By most, if not all, US playground standards, the Land is a filthy deathtrap, a hazardous junkheap patronized by the unfortunate offspring of irresponsible parents. There’s a pile of ...

Baby in the NICU? What to do, what to do....?

Do you remember the day your child was born? When she opened her eyes and looked at you? When he first grabbed your finger in the hospital room? Of course you do! These moments are branded on your brain, and ...

How can games make science, math, and engineering less intimidating?

Let me just start off by saying that I can’t Math. But….I’ve got some fantastically smart friends, and a beyond-brilliant husband, who all met at MIT and, presumably, learned a bit of math there. All of them ...

Best-Performing Yoga Gear

So there you are– you made it to class and even got that coveted spot for your mat, right next to the window. Your mantra is peaceful and loving. Fifteen minutes into class and you're feeling great, moving into ...

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2 years ago

@Vanja Popovic Thank you! Yes, we work from a trauma-informed child development/ developmental pediatrics approach. Both @Jeanette Molineaux and I have educational and professional backgrounds in pediatric work, in units where trauma is frequent and unavoidable, namely the NICU, PICU ...

@Rachel T Gupta : I'm so sorry to hear about all of the illness your son has experienced this year, and the resulting stress on the family. Illness is never easy, especially when it strikes kids. I hope that your ...

@Jenny Davenport: What a difficult time for your daughter and your family– I am so sorry to hear about it. I will keep you all in my thoughts, and will keep fingers and toes crossed for a full-term birth for ...

Thank you all for sharing your incredibly personal stories and experiences. I am so happy that all of the stories have happy endings!

I think that the conversation about what age to introduce technology is going to become more and more prevalent, and frankly, more and more controversial. Kids are going to have opportunities to learn and create in ways that we never ...

Great tips, thanks for posting!

It occurred to me that I should perhaps offer one other thing (although I hope it goes without saying)– my stance only applies to families who opt out of vaccination for their healthy children. Of course there are people who ...

@Lindsey Chapman: It's true, kids (and adults) can faint after shots– most commonly, this is the vasovagal response to stress, and it can also happen after a blood draw, other procedures, as well as stress, trauma, lack of sleep ...

@Amy Acosta: Your story sounds like a screenplay! I also just switched careers, and think that your advice to reach out to your support network when trying something new is critical. Friends and family can offer insights, connections, advice, and ...

@Connie Donahue: thanks for your thoughts. I agree, parents have to make decisions for their children, and it can be difficult to know where to draw the line and insist on making decisions for the parents. And let me be ...

I disagree- this is not a tricky topic. There's a teacher in Houston, working (for very little money, most likely) to bring knowledge and literacy and curiosity to children. She also is living with a chronic illness. Her privacy ...

Children imitate what they see around them, so it’s critical for caregivers to stay engaged too! Take an art class, or go to an art store with your child to choose some fun new supplies and learn to use ...

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