Illness, a Part of Life
Illnesses are a regular part of life. Yet, most people do not like talking about it. In Asian circles, sickness and death tend to be taboo topics. It is considered to be bad luck when one talks about death and illness. However, it is during this dark period during a person’s life that requires support, love and companionship. Children especially require love and support during this difficult time. Even for adults, a hospital visit can be an uncomfortable experience and at times be even downright scary. For children, this is much more so and fortunately, the humble get well teddy bear has step into this role. It has brought much comfort and companionship to sick children.
Ever wonder why most pediatric clinics have a teddy bear in the waiting room? Being unwell is an unpleasant experience and doctors no matter how well-meaning are scary figures. With sharp needles and cold stethoscopes, it is understandable why a sick child would be in distress. Note: if any doctors are reading this, we are sorry, you are working in a noble profession and we mean no disrespect.
The Get Well Teddy Bear
The get well teddy bear with his comforting gaze and cuddly body is a comforting presence for frightened children. Hence, we can see that most children admitted to a hospital usually have a soft toy by their side, usually a teddy bear.
As treatment ward often do not allow parents to enter, the get well teddy bear brings a sense of comfort and familiarity in a strange place to a child. This answers the age old question why hospital waiting rooms do not have clown dolls in place of teddy bears. If they did, this writer would never step foot into a hospital ever again.
Usually styled with chubby and round body which allows children to cuddle him, some hospital gift shops have teddy bears wearing t-shirts that say “Get Well Soon”. Naturally, the t-shirt conveys good wishes to the invalid. However, the main selling point is the cuddle factor that a Teddy bear brings. The get well teddy bear brings a comforting presence and sense of security for the patient and also provides much needed moral support i.e. his/her friends and family are thinking about them and wishing them a speedy recovery. Research has shown that mental as well as physical health is vital for any recovering patient.
Last March, a pediatric hospital in California organized a “Teddy Bear Clinic” for their young patients. The children were treated to a day of diagnosing and caring for their Teddy bear buddies and were allowed to bring their new buddies home with them. This heartwarming tale makes a case for why teddy bears also play an important role in modern day medicine. You don’t see “Get Well Soon” balloons doing any good, do you?