A group at the Teddy Bear hospital
Pictured at the University of Limerick Teddy Bear Hospital is Fiona He, teaching kids all about the lungs. Below, Zainullah Durani from Presentation School and Ciaran Flanagan, UL Pictures: Sean Curtin/True Media
Thursday, 9 March 2023

The University of Limerick Teddy Bear Hospital returned to the UL Arena this week for some fluffy toy medical fun.

The Teddy Bear Hospital provides children with the opportunity to interact with students at UL’s School of Medicine in a safe and fun environment, while learning more about medicine.

This year, the event was organised by 150 volunteers consisting of first, second- and third-year students and tutors from UL School of Medicine.

It was taking place in-person at UL on Wednesday for the first time since before the pandemic.

Among those schools in attendance were Gaelscoil Chaladh an Treoigh, Corpus Christi National School, Presentation Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes.

The aim of the project is to alleviate childhood anxiety surrounding hospitals and doctors. The children rotated through 12 different stations, each showcasing a different aspect of medicine through scenarios, games, and interactive learning.

The Teddy Bear hospital has six main goals:

To alleviate childhood anxiety about medical environments, procedures, and medical professionals;

Enables children to learn about the nature of a medical consultation in a fun and engaging way;

Gives children an opportunity to ask questions and discuss their fears associated with medical settings and treatments;

To promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle and preventative medicine (for example, healthy nutrition and hand washing);

To improve the confidence of medical students to interact with children in a medical setting;

To strengthen the relationship between UL School of Medicine and the surrounding community.

The Teddy Bear Hospital is attended by primary school children, but the final session of the event was open to the wider public so that children and their parents could share in the fun and learning.