Teddy bears help kids understand medical care


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While checking for vital signs, volunteers and nurses are determining that the more than 400 teddy bears brought into Tucson Medical Center's Teddy Bear Clinic have good hearts. About 600 kindergarten and first-grade students are scheduled to come to the Teddy Bear Clinic today and Friday to have their teddy bears tested, said TMC Spokesman Mike Letson. "The idea is to introduce kids to the hospital setting in a non-threatening environment and learn about the elements of hospital care by participating with their stuffed animals," he said.

The children were invited to bring their own stuffed animal, but teddy bears are provided to the children who don't have one.

"Many of them are well worn and have encountered some bumps and bruises along the way," Letson said of the stuffed animals brought in. "We provided a cast, checked to make sure vitals were good, and (the bears have) a good strong heart." Children were also invited to try on the surgical masks and look at X-rays. The Teddy Bear Clinic is put on by TMC in collaboration with volunteers, who mostly come from the University of Arizona and from Catalina Magnet High School. The clinic was done in the Marshall Auditorium at the hospital, 5301 E. Grant Road.

《Tucson Citizen》 HEIDI ROWLEY