“Teddy Bear Clinic” Teaches LI Kindergarteners about Injury Prevention
Injured teddy bears were lined up at local elementary schools recently, with students in kindergarten through second grade taking on the roles of doctors and nurses to treat the injuries. Slings were made, cuts tended to, and teddy bear pulses checked. It was all part of free “Teddy Bear Clinics” orchestrated by NYU Winthrop’s Trauma Center to teach young members of the community about injury prevention, treatment, and to educate them on the medical profession. Freeport, Hicksville, North Merrick and Searington elementary schools all partook in the clinics. Children were asked to bring in their favorite teddy bear or other stuffed animal, with the Hospital providing equipment for the students to dress up as doctors and nurses. NYU Winthrop trauma nurses assisted students in treating the injured bears, aided by Adelphi University nursing students.
A recent “Teddy Bear Clinic” at Lee Avenue Elementary School in Hicksville. Teddy Bear Clinics are expected to resume in the spring.
“We teach children how to take safety into their own hands such as by wearing bike helmets, seat belts, and stopping at stop signs,” said Ellen Berghorn, RN, who heads NYU Winthrop’s Pediatric Injury Prevention Program. “The majority of trauma injuries are preventable if children and their parents take basic precautions, stay alert and follow public safety rules. We also teach students that the medical world is really not so scary, and the children’s hands-on experience treating injured bears helps bring that to light.”
Among the lessons taught:
Whose job is it to keep our bodies safe? (Ourselves!)
What’s the first thing we do when we get in the car? (Buckle up!)
Where’s the safest place for kids to sit in the car? (In the back!)