Annual Teddy Bear Clinic takes over local hospital

May 4, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

An unplanned trip to the hospital is unnerving at the best of times – we just don’t want to be there.

However, when you’re a kid who has had a playground accident or sudden illness, a trip to the hospital can be absolutely terrifying.

You’ve got a bunch of strangers poking, prodding, and asking questions. There is a lot of strange equipment and some of it is going to be used on you. It’s a daunting situation for a little kid who’s already had a bad day.

The annual Teddy Bear Clinic, held at the Headwaters Health Care Centre last Saturday, April 29, gives parents a chance to bring their children to the hospital to learn what happens if they ever need to visit the emergency room.

This is the 25th year the Headwaters Health Care Auxiliary has hosted the event.

Visitors bring their own toys or purchase one at the hospital then go on a tour so their teddy bear can get a check-up.

Several real doctors, as well as other trained volunteers, do check-ups on the bears while explaining to the children what they are doing and why.

Several local high school students also volunteer for the day to ensure the smooth flow of people through the hospital corridors and treatment rooms.

“The patient is actually the toy. The children register at the triage area just like they would if they came to the hospital,” explained Cathy Campbell, Headwaters Health Care Auxiliary member and event organizer. “It’s a community thing we do for the children so when the children actually have to come to the hospital themselves, they’ve been through it. They’ve had their bears have injections and x-rays. They have to register and they get a health card. The kids enjoy it and our doctors take it seriously.”

The event is very popular with hundreds turning out to take the tour.

Local resident Jen Cosby arrived with her daughters Raina and River who took their bears to meet Headwaters physician Dr. Cito.

Dr. Cito gave the bears an examination and showed the girls how different equipment is used.

“My girls have been here every year for four or five years now. They love it,” Ms. Cosby said. “I like them to see what the doctors are doing and feel comfortable with doctors in general.”

The event also features some outdoor activity with the chance to see inside an ambulance and meet emergency paramedics as well as fire fighters.

As an organizer, Ms. Campbell helps run the event, but as a grandparent she has first-hand knowledge of how valuable the program can be.

“My daughter brought my grandchildren here (to the clinic) when they were about four and six, and around eight months later my grandson fell and broke his arm very badly,” she said. “ He had to have surgery. I met him in his room and I said ‘You mom told me you’ve been very good.’ He said ‘I wasn’t scared because I’ve been to the Teddy Bear Clinic.’”

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.