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With Teddy Bears, Phila. Hospital Workers Take Fear Out of Kids’ Doctor Visits

(Hillary Israel, center, helps children understand medical procedures by demonstrating on teddy bears.  Credit: Michelle Durham)

(Hillary Israel, center, helps children understand medical procedures by demonstrating on teddy bears. Credit: Michelle Durham)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Officials from St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, in North Philadelphia, held a “teddy bear clinic” today at a Kensington school, designed to help children avoid the fear of going to the doctor.

The show-and-tell teaches children why doctors and nurses do the things they do during health exams or sick visits.

Sister Pat, who teaches pre-kindergarten for four-year-olds at Visitation BVM School in Kensington, was delighted.

“I think this is a good experience for them, because some of them are afraid of going to the doctor,” she says, “so I think this will help them understand there is nothing to be afraid of.”

Hillary Israel, a child life specialist at St. Chistopher’s Hospital (center of phot0), says she enjoys seeing the transformation of children’s attitudes during the clinic.

“They really do start to become more comfortable with the equipment and more comfortable with going to the doctor,” she says, “and it definitely gets to be something fun and more exciting for them.”

Chloe, 4, took part.

“I gave him a shot.”

And she thinks it will make going to the doctor easier for her: “Yes — it feels better!”

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