- Associated Press - Monday, August 7, 2017

DOVER, N.H. (AP) - Teddy bears and other cherished toy animals visited and were examined at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire on Friday.

The toy animals got checkups and their masters became familiar with what a visit to the doctor or a clinic would be like for themselves.

Xanthi Gray, Education Director of the museum, organized the event and said the Museum had more “patients” than they have had in three years.

The clinic has been held for the last 32 years, and always brings large crowd of children and parents. Nikki Smith of Dover was joined by her daughter Ayla and Madison Goulet. Each brought their favorite animal for examination. Madison had Henrietta the Beany Boy who, according to her was “fine and just needed a checkup,” while Ayla’s stuffed dog had a splinter that needed looking after.

The process for stuffed animals is the same as visiting a medical facility and served to ease any fears children might have about seeing a real doctor.

After check in, the animals were tagged with name bracelets and then visited one of four Teddy Bear clinicians - nurses from Portsmouth Regional Hospital who were volunteering their time.

The nurses checked the animal’s vitals and passed them along to “doctor for the day,” Meredith Lamothe, or “surgeon for the day” Doug Tilton, both of the museum’s staff.

Tilton said that the day went well with no major challenges, but recalled one year when he had to perform major surgery on an animal whose leg was almost completely off.

“Today was successful all the way around,” said Tilton.

Brenda Fuller, a medical professional from Rochester, was accompanied by son Isaac and his two toy bears.

“I’m amazed at the professionalism shown here,” Fuller said. “It teaches the kids not to be scared.”

Carter Felipe of Barnstead brought his favorite, Michelangelo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, “just for a checkup to make sure everything is OK.”


Online: https://bit.ly/2vd7Kpk


Information from: Foster’s Daily Democrat, https://www.fosters.com

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