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Dim ond yng Nghaerdydd

New Year, New Societies!

31 Hydref 2014

Happy Hallowe’en everyone! I hope you have all got your costumes at the ready and pumpkins carved! Hallowe’en spirits have actually been pretty high in our house, Wednesday afternoon saw our kitchen turn into a pig sty as we baked cakes, got carving our pumpkins and planned our not so scary costume of going as the Spice Girls! (The most likely embarrassing photos will be soon to follow).

Not only can I not get my head around how it is already October 31st; second year is definitely going far too quickly for my liking! Yet I do feel like the day I moved in was so long ago and I have actually done so many things since the start of the new academic year. One of the new things I’ve joined this year is a new society- Teddy Bear’s Hospital.

So the Teddy Bear’s Hospital Society is Cardiff University is a voluntary scheme run by current medical and dental students. The society works with local primary schools, scouting and girl guiding groups in order to ease children’s fears about going into hospitals, seeing doctors and having procedures. During a workshop session we also aim to teach children about the importance of healthy eating and exercising regularly, as well as about the spread of germs and how to wash your hand properly. Also as medical and dental students we can’t get enough of our anatomy teaching, so we also slot in a station about the human body.

The sessions we run for the children are done in a workshop style, where the children rotate round stations, collecting stickers for their certificates as they go for completing them. The children are also asked to bring a teddy bear along to the session with them so they can be a teddy doctor for the day, healing or fixing any problems teddy may have (and my sometimes they are very inventive indeed!).

Station 1- Dress Up

At the dress up station we have lots of masks, gloves and hair nets that doctors and nurses wear at the hospital, as well an array of scrubs for the children to dress up in or dress their teddy bears in. At this station we would ask the children what they already know about the clothes they are wearing and why and when doctors would wear them. This station often generates a huge amount of excitement in the group!

Station 2- Germs

The aim of this station is to try and show and explain to children what germs are and how they can spread between us to make us feel poorly. With wet hands we get one child to dip their hands in glitter and the rest to stand in a line. The children then high five each other all down the line. This shows the children how germs can spread from just one person to so many, and how the glitter is able to be passed on! A very fun station although messy at times!

Station 3- Mystery Boxes

This station comprises of three mystery boxes with holes cut out of one end so the children can all have a good feel around in order to try and guess what body part is in each of the boxes. The personal favourite amongst the kids, and also the adults is the noodle brain which does in fact feel pretty disgusting! This station is a good opportunity to see how much the children already know and what they have learnt from their previous stations. For example, we ask them if they know where the brain is and what it does.

Station 4- Exercise

The aim here is to try and teach children about the importance of exercise and how it affects our bodies. We start off by getting the children to play a big game of tag… which we also usually join in with! We then ask them if they feel any different after running around. We hand the children our stethoscopes and show them how to listen to their hearts before and after the exercise so they can hear their hearts beat faster.

Station 5- Drawing

Colouring pens at the ready for this station as we get one of the children in their station group to lie down on a big sheet of paper. The other children then grab coloured pens and draw an outline around their friend’s body. We then hand the children some cardboard pieces of different body parts and ask the children to put them down on the paper where they think they are found in the human body. This station is a great opportunity to show them a little bit about anatomy and tell them about what different body parts do.

Station 6- Healthy Eating

Here we have a table and lay out lots of toy pieces of food all jumbled up. We then ask the children if they can sort them into what foods are healthy and good for them and which ones are bad for them to eat regularly. This is also a good chance to teach children about the importance of a balanced diet.

Station 7- X Rays

So this station is all about teaching children about X rays, what they are and how they can help us as doctors to look after our poorly patients. We get the children to pop their teddy bears one by one into the X ray machine we have made and give them a little print out of a picture of the teddy’s X ray (which is pretty cute!). We also have some real X rays at this station to show them, and we can ask the children if they know from what part of the body the X ray has been taken from.

Station 8- Dental

The dental station in the workshops we do are often run by the dentists themselves! We have a toy dinosaur who has some pretty good teeth for the children to look at, brush away at or even floss. This station allows us to show the children how important it is to brush your teeth twice a day and eat healthy foods as it all helps to protect our teeth. This station also provides a good opportunity to ask if children are afraid of going to see their dentist and if so why so we can try and show them that going to see your dentist doesn’t have to be scary.

Station 9- Doctor’s Kit

So at this last station we lay out on a table all sorts of medical equipment you are likely to see if you go and see your doctor or if you are staying in hospital. These usually include bandages and plasters (which the children can put on themselves or on their teddy bears), syringes, alcohol sterilising wipes and tourniquets. We ask the children if they have seen any of the things before and if they know what they are and what they do. It is a great opportunity to show children how they work and reduce their fears of them. Assuring the children that if anything hurts it will only hurt for a little bit and then it will get all better!


So I hope that I’ve given you a little taster of what we do at the Teddy Bear’s Hospital here at Cardiff and that you may like to join the society! Enjoy your Hallowe’en’s everyone! Don’t let them get too messy!