BYOB: Bring your own (teddy) bear and help your kids learn about going to the doctor painlessly

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FREE Teddy Bear Clinic on April 16

Going to the doctor can be scary, no matter how old you are. As parents, we've likely been to a few dozen doctors' appointments in our day, but for our young children, a doctor's office is a foreign place no matter how inviting the waiting room. Once they've had a few rounds of routine shots, toddlers remember the nurse who pricked them or the doctor who made them wail. Those experiences don't instill trust or excitement about a future check-up.

My two year old daughter started preschool last August which meant an onslaught of viruses, ear infections, and sick days (for all of us). We were on a first name basis with the nurses at our pediatrician's office, and our saving grace became the basket full of stickers. She still knew what was going on and feared having her ears, nose and eyes checked, throat swabbed (who doesn't?), and of course, the dreaded shot.

I'm sure we are not alone in our child's fear of the doctor. It can be a scary place with lots of strangers pricking and prodding their tiny bodies. A lot of that fear comes from a lack of exposure.

We want to change those perceptions. To help quell some of the doctor fear, Methodist Richardson Medical Center is hosting a Teddy Bear Clinic so your child can see what it's like for his favorite stuffed animal to go to the doctor. There will be an ear, nose and throat check, a heart check-up, immunizations, and x-rays. Their favorite bunny, bear or doll can also get a broken arm bandaged and the kids can even try their hand at a little surgery thanks to our Operation game.

We want to make going to the doctor a fun experience for the whole family, so come join us on Saturday, April 16 from2 - 4 p.m. atMethodist Richardson Medical Center. There will also be face painting, a balloon artist, a DJ and live characters from Shrek! Sign up here.

Teddy Bear Clinic Registration