People

Plush Pals Get Clean Bills of Health: ‘Teddy Bear Check-up’ Connects Children to Medicine

Children learned about hygiene, nutrition, exercise and other healthy habits


By Britni R. McAshan | December 18, 2018

Nearly 200 children from across the Houston gathered area at The Health Museum in early December for the annual Teddy Bear Check-up to ensure the health of their beloved plush pals and learn more about medicine.

For nearly a decade, the museum has hosted the event to encourage children to get excited about their health and learn about their bodies by mirroring doctor visits with their teddy bears.

“It’s all about getting kids to think,” said John Arcidiacono, President and CEO of The Health Museum, which is affiliated with the Smithsonian. “They don’t want to brush their teeth and do all that stuff, so if you can have them think about their teddy bear doing it, they kind of understand that these healthy habits are important.”

To provide medical expertise and offer an authentic clinical environment for the children, the children and their teddy bears rotated through seven exam stations where they were met by medical students clad in scrubs from Baylor College of Medicine and the UTHealth’s McGovern Medical School.

The process started with a standard check-in and triage of all bears where they received plastic bracelets with their information—just like a patient would in the hospital. The “doctors” checked the height, weight, ears, eyes and nose along with the pulse and blood pressure. The medical students used stethoscopes to listen to the chests of the plush patients.

Once the teddy bears were officially patients, each visited a dental station, had a cleanliness check, received an eye exam and were served at a healthy eating station that teaches nutrituous habits and portion control as well as an active lifestyle station to promote the importance of exercise.

“There was ‘Beary Delicious’ where the kids actually make parfaits,” said Jenny Granero, director of development at The Health Museum. “They get an armband and can decorate it if they want.”

The annual event was chaired by attorneys Roslyn Bazzelle and Olivia Carbajal de Garcia, who presided over an event a little different than years past.

In addition to the check-ups, The Health Museum also treated guests to performances by the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Choir and Houston Ballet dancers from “The Nutcracker” as well as face painting, balloon animals, breakfast and a special visit with Santa.

“It’s the holidays. It’s Christmastime. It’s the perfect time to have an event like this. This year we chose to make it a fundraising event because it has gained so much popularity over the years,” Granero said. “Each ticket was $50 and the money raised will go toward our health educational programs.”

Those programs include the Amazing Bodies Lab, the Farm to Table Workshop Series, mindfulness classes, discovery camps, Duke TIP Academic Adventures and much more.

“The educational classes are very broad and explore really interesting stuff,” Arcidiacono said. “We have artificial cadavers and the DeBakey Cell Lab—which is one of only three labs like that in the country. Fundraisers like this allow us to continue offering these incredible programs.”




Social Posts

profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

RT @BCMHouston_News: Did you see @BCMFromtheLabs's Image of the Month? Learn more about assembling a rotavirus factory here: https://t.co/d…

9 mins ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

RT @MDAndersonTrial: A Phase II Study of INVAC-1 Treatment of Patients with High-Risk Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia now Enrolling https://t.…

15 mins ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

DYK our Outreach Physics team monitors 98% of #radiationtherapy facilities in the U.S. to ensure patients are receiving the correct dosage?Learn more about our specialized team: https://t.co/lZMlUxnvOf #endcancer

24 mins ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

@tarablue77 @Saints @drewbrees @SeanPayton @camjordan94 @Cantguardmike @BenjaminSWatson @T_Hill4 @A_kamara6 @thomasmorstead @AlexAnzalone47 @MarkIngram22 @shonrp2 @wil_lutz5 Let us know if you need anything while you're here, Tara. We're sending good vibes your way.

26 mins ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

The Point-in-Time Count is one of the ways VA estimates the homeless Veteran population in the U.S. Thank you to all the volunteers who are participating in the count across America. Read about the count and last year’s results: https://t.co/omTnfYz9xQ #EndVeteranHomelessness https://t.co/gwvwRCFMHI

56 mins ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Vietnam Veteran receives replacement medals https://t.co/aMTfLrP5WS via @theindependent

2 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTPhysicians: UTHealthCares, a student-led initiative to help the community, is holding their 2nd annual health fair on Saturday, Jan.…

2 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTPhysicians: A well-woman exam is an important way to stay healthy. The main goals are to document/update your health habits and histo…

2 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTPhysicians: Falling can lead to broken bones or disability, and each year 1 in 4 older adults are injured due to falls. To help lower…

2 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Department of Veterans Affairs making suicide prevention a top clinical priority https://t.co/vhFQwYkMYv @WDTnews

2 hours ago
profile_image

Houston Methodist

@MethodistHosp

We were honored to host The Rev. Dr. Derek. Barber King, Sr., nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to celebrate the life & legacy of Dr. King.Dr. King’s unwavering focus & passion will forever be an inspiration on our path forward. #MLKDay https://t.co/HimY0WY4fP

16 hours ago
profile_image

Memorial Hermann

@memorialhermann

According to the American Cancer Society, obesity acts as a risk factor in developing liver, pancreatic and endometrial cancers. Here are simple exercises to sit less and move more: https://t.co/XtYhfqN2RV.

16 hours ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

Join us for a twitter chat on Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. CST (3 p.m. ET) to discuss what you can do to have a healthy baby. #Best4YouBest4Baby #WellnessWed https://t.co/CGMqI4SmMK

16 hours ago
profile_image

CHI St. Luke's Health

@CHI_StLukes

.@tdouglaslawson, President of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center & CEO of the CHI Texas Division, led a moving ceremony with Minister Howard Watson and Reverend D. Darnell to celebrate the vital work and lasting national impact of Dr. King. https://t.co/3hAiyGJzww

17 hours ago
profile_image

CHI St. Luke's Health

@CHI_StLukes

Facilities across the CHI Texas Division are honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today. We are proud to be an organization committed to social justice, diversity, and respect for pioneers in equality like Dr. King. #MLKday

17 hours ago