The Teddy Bear Checkup is a program designed to help pre-school age children (3-6 years old) learn more about a visit to the doctor's office. Children bring their favorite stuffed animal for a simulated medical examination which demonstrates how doctors and nurses care for patients. Many children see a medical office as an intimidating place, but once their favorite friend gets a checkup, they discover that seeing the doctor is not so bad, after all.
Each program begins with story time, when a book about a child's visit to the doctor's office is read aloud. Children are encouraged to participate and answer the questions in the story.
The Clinic Visit
A station resembling a clinic office is staffed by TCF Team Members. Children bring their stuffed animals to the "clinic" for a routine health checkup. The team member engages the child in a conversation about his/her bear and demonstrates the procedure for each aspect of the examination.
The children get hands-on experience with authentic medical equipment as they practice examining their stuffed animal. They listen to their stuffed animals heart and lungs, check their weight, measure the circumference of their head, look in their ears, eyes, and mouth, check their blood pressure, and even test their reflexes.
If a stuffed animal has any illnesses or injuries, the health care provider may give advice or even apply a bandage. The bear's maladies are limited only by the child's imagination. "Parents" leave the clinic with their happy bears in their arms. Each animal receives a sticker and a certificate of good health as they check out.
Waiting Room Station
The waiting room is an interactive group station to educate children on healthy lifestyle choices. A TCF team member engages the children with questions and emphasizes the role the child has in making sound health and wellness decisions. Topics include dental health, bike safety, healthy food and snacks, getting enough sleep, taking time for activity and exercise each day, wearing sun screen, and much more.
The Coloring Station
Each child will receive a TCF educational coloring and activity book. The book covers a variety of good health habits. Children spend creative time with their new book and crayons, designed to reinforce the day's healthy messages.