Flower Hill Primary School first graders recently trekked over to Huntington High School’s Teddy Bear Clinic, where the youngsters learned more about what to expect when they or a loved one visits the hospital for some sort of medical treatment.
Each of the youngsters was given their very own teddy bear, who they promptly named and presented with an I.D. bracelet. Nurses and hospital volunteers brought students through various hands-on stations related to the program.
Students practiced techniques associated with proper hand washing, used walkers in ‘physical therapy’ and gave their bear a mock shot followed by affixing a band aid on their arm. They also discussed healthy foods and the food pyramid, discussed when it’s appropriate to call 911 as well as sports safety and first aid and even read x-rays.
It wouldn’t be surprising if some of the Flower Hill first graders headed back to school thinking it would be neat to be a doctor or nurse themselves one day down the road.
Huntington Hospital typically welcomes about 900 elementary school age students to its Teddy Bear Clinic during any given school year. The program is “designed to help children in the community overcome their fear of hospitals,” according to a website description.
Children invent a story about why their respective bear requires the hospital’s services. “The stories are shared with the hospital staff members and the bears are ‘fixed’ with gauze, bandages, tape and other medical supplies,” according to a Huntington Hospital overview of the program.