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Bellevue Medical Center Helps Kids Overcome their Fear of Doctors By launching the Teddy Bear Clinic to encourage the little heroes

May 19, 2017
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Bellevue Medical Center Helps Kids Overcome their Fear of Doctors  By launching the Teddy Bear Clinic to encourage the little heroes

In a unique initiative to fight kids’ fear of visiting the doctor and the hospital particularly, Bellevue Medical Center (BMC) held the Teddy Bear Clinic two-day activity on May 18th and 19th, hosting five to six year old kids from three Lebanese schools, who visited BMC accompanied by their own stuffed animals, to check out on their health and make them undergo the necessary medical examinations.

Pioneers in launching this initiative in Lebanon after it was first held in Sweden, BMC aims to help familiarize young children with the care they may experience if they have to make a trip to the hospital.  Children were encouraged to have fun while learning about procedures or tests they might encounter at the hospital, in order to reduce their anxiety related to hospitals.

The clinic consisted of several stations that the kids went through via a guided route; whereas each stuffed animal received a hospital ID band and health record before getting a full health check and their vaccine by their young owners. The kids also learned about X-rays, hand hygiene, proper dieting, and proper medication, before taking a tour in the ambulance.

Commenting on this initiative, Dr. Dia Hassan, CEO and President of BMC said: “Visiting the hospital can be a stressful experience for children. The Teddy Bear Clinic provides children with an opportunity to learn, interact, and be empowered while having fun learning about the hospital. Hence, we decided to introduce them to and involve them in the procedures to give them a greater sense of control and alleviate some anxieties.”

Experts say that often a big part of the fear is that children don’t know what to expect, or sometimes have the wrong idea about medical treatment. On another hand, children are extremely vulnerable to fear and lasting impressions, so one bad experience at a doctor’s clinic can last for very long.

This activity, which the hospital intends to organize every year, is part of the many initiatives it often come up with, aiming this time to facilitate the lives of children and their families and make the visit to the doctor and the hospital a fun and routine event, instead of a nightmare for both parents and children

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