Student doctors in Sheffield are holding a Teddy Bears Hospital this weekend - to give local children the chance to find out more about doctors, health and medicine.
The event, which will be held at the city’s Weston Park Museum on Saturday, from 10am to 4.30pm, is aimed at reducing childhood anxiety about hospitals and doctors and promotes staying healthy.
In previous years, this same event has attracted hundreds of youngsters, along with their bears, to the makeshift hospital at the museum, where trainee doctors use stethoscopes to listen to the bears’ hearts, put bandages on them, check their eyes and teeth and explain about X-rays and MRI scans. Any bears who have had the stuffing knocked out of them are patched up and sent home in full health.
The students will also hold one-to-one consultations with children and talk to them about hospitals and the roles of doctors. There will also be workshops on the day, which are intended to help them learn about the roles of healthy eating and exercise on overall wellbeing.
A spokesman for the event said: “Teddy Bears Hospital is a great way to get children thinking about their health through fun, interactive workshops led by student doctors.
“With health promotion being one of the government’s key issues, this is the ideal way to educate children in the benefits of staying fit and healthy. It’s important to start early, breaking down barriers between children and hospitals, as they can seem like really scary places.
“It’s great for us too, as it’s important to be able to build up a rapport with young children and allay their fears.
“This hands-on training makes a massive difference for us.”
“Some of the children who attend the Teddy Bears Hospital are patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital or are booked in for upcoming appointments, so this is a great way to put them at ease.
“It’s always a fun day and lots of the children have smiles on their faces, so we really hope we are able to ease any concerns they may have.”
Claire Rushen, who took her nephew Edward along to a previous Sheffield event when he was two, because his ‘space bear’ was feeling poorly, said: “Edward had a great time; we took space bear for an X-ray and he had his eyes tested.
“It is a great idea to help break down scary barriers and ideas children might have about hospitals.”
Teddy Bear Hospital is a free, annual event run by the medical students and is aimed at youngsters aged three to eight years. Visit www.teddybearhospitalsheffield.info