Being in the hospital can be scary, especially for kids. enCourage Kids Foundation understands this and works to make hospitals a better place to get better. We do this by helping humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. One of these programs is our Send a Smile, Send a Bear Program. We work with pediatric facilities to send cuddly Bears into the arms of the young patients in their care. Pediatric patients see a friend in the enCourage Kids’ Bear’s smiling face while Child Life Specialists, nurses, and doctors use the Bear for medical play to help young patients learn what to expect during a hospital visit. Each Bear is individually wrapped and meets hospital protocols for health standards.
Monday, September 9th is National Teddy Bear Day. It is an opportunity to spread awareness for our Bear Program, as well as for the Child Life Community and the important role they play in a patient’s hospital experience. In honor of this day, we send hundreds of Teddy Bears to hospitals around the country to provide comfort and joy to pediatric patients. The Bear is instrumental in in reducing anxiety and fear in children while in a clinical environment.
To celebrate National Teddy Bear Day, we are sharing the adventures of Teddy as he travels to help two young patients through a scary hospital experience. You can follow Teddy’s journey on here and on social media (Facebook & Instagram).
Teddy’s adventure begins with a call to alert him that a little girl, Hope, is in the hospital and is in need of comfort. He immediately rushes off to see how he can help. Once he arrives, he learns Hope is about to undergo brain surgery. But have no fear! Teddy knows exactly how to make her feel better.
Hope needs to get an IV before surgery, but that can be a frightening procedure for a child. To calm her nerves and show her that she will be okay, Teddy volunteers to get the IV first. The Child Life Specialist uses a technique called “medical play” by demonstrating on Teddy what happens when receiving an IV. With a smile on his face, Teddy shows her there is nothing to be afraid of. Hope is able to see the needle and understand exactly what will happen when she gets her IV. Teddy helps her feel relieved from the fear and anxiety she had been experiencing.
Next up, it is surgery time. See how Teddy helps Hope through her surgery on our next blog post.