NUI Galway medical students are inviting children to attend their award-winning Teddy Bear Hospital, which will take place online next Saturday, 17 April from 12pm to 3pm.
Over the past 16 years, children have attended the hospital with teddy bears suffering from sore ears, sick tummies and all kinds of other weird and wonderful ailments.
This year, children’s appointments will be carried out virtually, and the students will educate the children about how to treat their sick teddy at home.
The event is organised by the Sláinte Society – NUI Galway’s health promotion society which focuses on promoting all aspects of physical and mental health.
Up to 50 medical, healthcare and science students will diagnose and treat the teddy bears, and in the process, they hope to help children aged between 4 and 8 feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals.
“Given the current circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, we believe it’s really important to maintain engagement with as many children as possible through the Teddy Bear Hospital,” said Tristiana Dalchand, second year Medical student at NUI Galway and co-auditor of Sláinte Society.
“We hope to remind children and their teddies that the doctor’s office and hospitals remain a fun, comfortable, and safe space.”
On arrival at the virtual Teddy Bear Hospital, participants and patients will be greeted by two teddy doctor specialists.
The children and their bears will learn how to take care of teddy bear health through three main themes: general health, lifestyle, and emotional wellbeing.
Andrea Dimitrov, second year Medical student at NUI Galway, added: “Covid-19 has been challenging for all of us and we hope to provide an engaging, fun, and educational event that the children can participate in and interact with each other.
“This pandemic has highlighted the importance of community, and we hope to continue bringing the community together through the Teddy Bear Hospital.”
Due to limited capacity of this year’s virtual Teddy Bear Hospital, Sláinte Society are also holding a drawing contest.
Children are encouraged to submit a drawing of themselves and their teddies to be in with a chance of winning one of two €50 vouchers for Smyths Toy Store.