Posted on March 5, 2018

Over 350 children, aged between 4 – 10, brought their sick or injured teddies to the fourth annual RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) Teddy Bear Hospital on Saturday, 10 February and Sunday, 11 February in the College at 123 St Stephen’s Green. 

Hosted by medical, physiotherapy and pharmacy students in the RCSI Paediatrics Society, this year’s Teddy Bear Hospital was the biggest to date with up to 100 students on hand to diagnose and treat the teddy bears. The event, which was fully booked out, is designed to help children to feel comfortable around doctors and hospitals, and learn how to stay healthy through diet and exercise.

This year saw the addition of a special session on Sunday, 11 February, for children with disabilities or experiencing chronic illness. After spending time with sick children in Crumlin Hospital, Katie Dunleavy, President of RCSI Paediatric Society, realised there was an opportunity to help patients and their young siblings to view hospitals in a more positive light. Katie Dunleavy says, “This is a cause near to my heart and we are delighted to host our special session for children who already have experience with health care in Ireland. Our hope is that a less hectic environment can help patients and their brothers or sisters cope and heal through understanding.”

Over the course of their hospital visit, children experienced twelve stations created to mirror aspects of a real hospital. Stations focused on triage, X-rays, MRIs, pharmacy, physiotherapy, yoga, heart sounds, handwashing and even a suturing station to help restore any torn teddies. Children were introduced to Benny, the anatomical teddy bear, who was used to explain human anatomy, procedures and surgeries. A range of educational and fun games were played to promote healthy eating and exercise.

All proceeds raised from the day went to the Jack & Jill Foundation who provide direct funding to families of children up to the age of five who suffer severe intellectual and physical developmental delay, enabling them to purchase home respite care.

A big thank you to our generous community sponsors who help make this event such a big success: Airfield Estate, Ballymaloe Cookery School, Carlton Hotel Blanchardstown, Clarendon Medical, Click at TCD SU, Cooks Academy, Dunnes Stores, Fallon & Byrne, Fit Bug, Fleming Medical, Fyffes Bananas, GAA Stadium, Glensik Yogurt, I-Brands, Imaginosity, Jump Juice, Kids Cook, Kylemore Karting, Leprechaun Museum, MedGuard Professional Healthcare Supply, Moo Free Chocolate, National Print Museum, National Wax Museum, NCD Medical, Newbridge House and Farm, Rainforest Adventure Gold, Starbucks, Tango Fiesta Dublin, The Little Museum of Dublin, Trabolgan Holiday, Trinity College SU Shop, Urban Kitchen Foods, Viking Splash Tour, Wooly’s Farm and Yo-Yo Yoga.

RCSI is ranked among the top 250 (top 2%) of universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2018) and its research is ranked first in Ireland for citations. It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide. RCSI is a signatory of the Athena SWAN Charter.

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