Making doctor visits bearable

Heritage Health to hold Teddy Bear Clinic on Saturday

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Teddy bears need lots of love, but sometimes their owners can knock the stuffing out of their fluffy friends by accident.

It can be a delicate situation —  especially for those kids who dread going to the doctor's office. To alleviate those fears, children can see if anything is broken inside their favorite stuffed animals during the 2nd annual Teddy Bear Clinic this Saturday at Heritage Health in Coeur d'Alene.

“The major thought behind the Teddy Bear clinic is to get young kids comfortable with medical and dental care in a non-threatening environment,” said Dr. Nicole Odom, a pediatrician at Heritage Health. “Some kids have a very real fear of going to the doctor. If the bear is going to the doctor, it presents less anxiety for the child.”

The second annual Teddy Bear Clinic at 1090 W. Park Place in Coeur d'Alene is open to the public and free to attend. The two-hour event is designed for kids 8 years old and under.

“It's a great family event,” said Dr. Odom. “Last year we had about 100 kids and they just loved it.”

Children should bring their favorite stuffed animal to meet Heritage Health's friendly staff. Each child will receive a “passport” and get a fun sticker to put in it for every activity they complete. This will include a hand washing station, a mini-check up, healthy snacks, dental education and of course Teddy bear x-rays.

The Inland Northwest SIDS Foundation will be discussing safe sleep practices and performing car seat safety checks.

There also will be a read-along with the Coeur d'Alene Library starting at 9:50 a.m.

For more information email outreach@myheritagehealth.org or call (208) 292-0280

 --Written by Marc Stewart

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