Teddy bear 'clinic' takes fear out of hospital

STORY: Location: Brussels, Belgium

Welcome to Belgium's teddy bear 'clinic' where hospitals aren't scary

Children can bring their favorite toys to be examined by medical students

[Emma, 5-year-old participant]

"She had an earache and she had a sweetie in her ear."

After an initial consultation, the toys are sent for x-rays

before being placed on an operating table where surgeons conduct mock interventions

The idea originated in Germany to make hospitals less scary for kids

and to help children learn about health treatment in a playful context

[Laurine Anselmo, pediatric nurse]

"A child who's stressed will more often be uncooperative, will cry a lot, will not be helpful during treatment, whereas a child who's come through the clinic will have a better understanding of what's going to happen and therefore will help us more, accept the treatment and work with the health professionals."