Date Published: 24 November 2009

Teddy Bears help children learn about health - at school visits from Newcastle University medical students

Primary school children across the North East of England are being prepared for trips to the doctors by medical students armed with teddy bears.

The Teddy Bear Hospital, which is being supported by MSD, takes Newcastle University medical students into schools to teach children about health issues.

Children bring their teddy bears along to ?surgeries' to talk about why their teddy is sick and Teddy Bear Doctors are on hand to treat the children's teddies and provide advice on a number of issues.

The importance of washing your hands to protect against germs such as swine flu will be a key message along with healthy eating and the importance of brushing your teeth.

Aly Fowles, a fourth year student who is going into schools, said:

We all know that children learn through play and one of the aims of this scheme is to dispel some of the fears they might have about hospitals and doctors.
The aim is to encourage them to ask questions about the teddies which they may have been too nervous to ask about themselves.
It's also about reinforcing some key health messages. The Government's 'catch it, bin it, kill it' campaign to prevent the spread of infections such as swine flu is great for adults but it doesn't really work for young children. ?

MSD are supporting the scheme as part of a £14,200 grant which includes sponsoring the new branded Teddy Bear Doctor Boxes ? special first aid kits for the bears.

This grant forms part of the company's International Neighbour of Choice Programme. "MSD Cramlington is delighted to partner in these excellent projects with Newcastle University Medical School and to bring this funding to the students and children of the North East,”said Martin Inskip, Senior Director of Operations at MSD Cramlington.

" We all know that a visit to the doctor can be nerve-wracking and to help these children gain in confidence is a life skill that can't be underestimated. We hope this link with the Medical School will be the first of many initiatives together," he added.

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Newcastle University's Medical School said,

We welcome working in partnership with MSD on these projects which are showing how the Medical School, as it celebrates its 175th anniversary, continues to work with the local community to help improve engagement in medicine and provide health advice for children at a crucial time in their development.?

Teddy Bear Hospital is part of a national, student-led organisation called Medsin.

IvyRose thinks bears are brilliant !!!

 

Source: Newcastle University (England, UK).

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