BEARS of all shapes and sizes flocked to a special hospital as student doctors in Sheffield set up clinic to give children the chance to find out more about doctors and medicine.
More than 300 children took their teddies to the teddy bear hospital, at the city’s Weston Park Museum on Saturday, for a one-to-one consultation.
Teddies were given a general check-up, had their hearts and eyes checked and could even be taken for an MRI or X-ray in a ‘radiology department’.
The event, which is run every year by Sheffield University medical students, aims to reduce childhood anxiety surrounding hospitals and doctors by familiarising children with basic procedures.
Claire Rushen took her two-and-a-half-year-old nephew Edward along, because his ‘space bear’ was feeling poorly.
Claire 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.”
A team of 70 student doctors set up and manned the hospital – and 22-year-old Lauren Fitzmaurice, said they were thrilled with the turnout.
She said: “We had a brilliant day and the feedback has been great so we’re really pleased.
“It’s important to start early, breaking down barriers between children’s 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.”
Other stations include advice on healthy eating, the importance of exercise and healthy teeth.
Ruth Slate, who has taken her two children, Ellie and Finn, along for the last three years, said the event gets bigger and better every year.
Ellie, 10, said: “My teddy had a poorly ear and the doctors made him all better.”
Seven-year-old Finn said: “My bear was checked and is healthy, but I’ll definitely bring him back next year to be checked again.”