Seton Teddy Bear Clinic, Sunday

By on Tue, September 22, 2009

Cheri Parr

Seton Coastside’s annual Teddy Bear Clinic will be Sunday, September 27 from 11 am – 3 pm.  Seton Coastside provides this event, introducing children, ages 2-12, to the emergency department and hospital setting without the pain.

Children receive goody bags including Teddy Bear Clinic coloring books and crayons and this year they receive a copy of a hand washing song sung to the tune of "Row, Row Row Your Boat", in an effort to help decrease the spread of the flu this fall.

To help children not be afraid of the hospital, they are encouraged to bring in their favorite toy stuffed animal as the "patient". The child and his or her toy then go through the entire process of the emergency visit in a non-threatening atmosphere.  First, they make an appointment to see the doctor. They apply for "Teddy-Care" insurance, and then have their toys’ vital signs taken along with the "patient’s" history.  From there, the children are directed to the radiology department (a copy machine), where an "x-ray" is taken, and onto the lab where a "blood sample" (cranberry juice) is taken. 

Then it’s on to the waiting room.  Of course at the Teddy Bear Clinic, there is hardly ever any waiting time. The doctor, upon examination of the "patient", orders appropriate treatments like a cast, a shot, or possibly surgery and consults with the child and their stuffed animal.  The pharmacist prescribes raisins and then everyone gets a nutritional consultation followed by a visit to the Rehabilitation Department.

There are lots of activities outdoors as well, informing the children and their families about the support services provided in the community.  These booths, hosted by volunteers from all over the coastside, fill the parking lot.  The Pillar Point Harbor Patrol, Sheriff’s Department, Half Moon Bay Police Department, California Highway Patrol, the California Fire District and Department of Forestry, and American Medical Response ambulance, are on-hand to give demonstrations of their life-saving equipment and techniques. Smokey Bear will also make an appearance.  A mounted Sheriff’s Deputy will have a horse up at the top of the hill for children to visit. If Life Flight is available (no real emergencies), they make a stop to give the kids a tour of the helicopter.  Sonrisas Dental Clinic will be on hand to provide dental care information and proper tooth brushing techniques. The Children’s Health Initiative will provide information and assistance on obtaining medical insurance for children. San Mateo County Public Safety personnel will be there to demonstrate seat belt safety.  The Explorer scouts are there to manage parking and all attendees will take the Seton shuttle up the hill to the event. Seton Medical Center’s Dietary staff provides hot dogs cooked by the Knights of Columbus, and serves fruit, pretzels, juice and water.

Seton Coastside is the only 24-hour Physician staffed Standby Emergency Department from Daly City to Santa Cruz on the San Mateo County coast.  Also on site is a 116-bed Skilled Nursing Facility for the elderly and chronically ill. In addition, three outpatient clinics provide blood tests, X-rays and screening mammograms, and physical, occupational and speech therapies.