The Riverside Discovery Center held a big Teddy Bear Clinic for younsters

The Riverside Discovery Center held a big Teddy Bear Clinic for younsters
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Christiaan Triebert

Teddy Bear Clinics are great events to help teach kids more about health and going to the doctor. And all is done with the help of the kids’ own favorite stuffed animals and teddy bears. One such event was just held at the Riverside Discovery Center.

The zoo hosted its annual Teddy Bear Clinic this Saturday, the Star-Herald reported. Again, this event was done in partnership with the UNMC Nursing Program.

About 300 children and their stuffed animals came to the Teddy Bear Clinic. “We think it’s a great way to connect with kids and get them learning about different social services and medical organizations in the area,” said Anthony Mason, zoo director.

Lots of plush activities

As always, children could visit several checkups and also learn about health. UNMC nursing students help them out to do the checkups on their stuffed animals. The checks include the head and neck, weight and length. Kids also learned about vaccines and reflexes.

Kids brought quite a various selection of stuffed animals. “Today, we have had snakes, flamingos, a narwal, frogs, and a few teddy bears,” said Wendy Wells, UNMC nursing instructor.

Kids and their stuffed animals could then also participate in several crafts, visit a sensory station, have fun in a bouncy house and a lot more. Of course, there were activities for parents, too. While their kids had fun, parents could also learn more about health and medical care.

“We always try to have the children help,” said Wells. “They get to hold the equipment and then it’s not so scary.”

The event was also important for the zoo. It ran a special promotion in its gift shop. It offered stuffed animals for just $5. The money and stuffed animals from them went to the CAPstore and also the Finders Keepers organizations.

“We were honored they chose us to be a beneficiary,” said Holly Brandt, executive director at CAPstone. “After a child comes in for an interview, we want to give them something they can cuddle with at night.” Kids and organizers are already waiting for next year’s Teddy Bear Clinic, too.