Summit Medical Center invites children, stuffed animals to come for a checkup
Even Bobo, Pooky and Paddington need the occasional checkup.
It’s a message St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco is highlighting in hosting its second-annual Teddy Bear Clinic for children and their favorite stuffed animal on Saturday, May 14. The event aims to introduce and familiarize area kids with the hospital.
“The goal is to get children exposed to the hospital in case they ever have to come,” said Mary Henrikson, COO of St. Anthony Summit and founder of the event. “It helps them to be less frightened and also provides education for the child and their family.”
Children start with morning registration for them and their teddy, obtaining a health passport and map to help direct them at their own pace throughout St. Anthony. Various stations will be set up emphasizing exercise, nutrition and one in the ER, so their furry friend can have bumps and bruises all bandaged up.
“You’ll see a lot of stuffed animals in children’s arms with a cast on their arm or paw, tail and snakes get wrapped around the middle,” said Henrikson, who is also the vice president of patient services at the hospital as well as its chief nursing officer. “It’s just a really fun opportunity to get kids some exposure for what happens in the hospital.”
On-site tours of Emergency Medical Services ambulances and the Flight For Life helicopter, including the excitement of the lights and sirens, will also take place, along with the re-appearance of several costumed mascots from last year. A new addition will be story time, in both English and Spanish, with Dr. Adam Loomis, M.D.
“This is a happy, no-pressure event,” said Suzanne Lifgren, marking manager for St. Anthony Summit. “It’s a really good way to introduce kids to the health-care setting without the scare and fear that comes with it.”
Aside from other fun activities for the intended age range of preschool through third grade such as a photo booth, balloonist and giveaways, the hospital does want to draw attention to the chance to learn some important lessons. Perhaps most important, children — and their parents — will be warned about the difference between a number of prescription drugs that look like sweets and other candy.
In the inaugural event, more than 150 children attended with their “Lovie” — it doesn’t have to be a teddy bear — which was more than 200 total attendees including parents and guardians. St. Anthony is hoping for another large crowd for the free public event open to the public, running from 9 a.m. to noon.
“It’s really fun to have all those little kids walking around with their stuffed animals,” said Henrikson. “It really is a nice event. We want to show that we’re a friendly place and here to take care of you, and your bears.”
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