Teddy bears for good health

BROWNSVILLE — The Brownsville Children’s Museum hosted local health and educational companies and organizations to distribute information about their services to parents yesterday morning, while the children’s teddy bears were given checkups.

At the entrance, Teddy Bear Clinic 2016 Health & Safety Charts were handed out to kids with paid admittance. The columns on the card were divided by the logos of the companies, the kind of station it was and one for a stamp. Once visitors finished visiting all the stations, their card was entered in a raffle to be held at the end of the event.

Some of the organizations present were BCFS Health and Human Services; Revolution Taekwondo, which taught the children moves like the front snap kick; Ponder Math and Reading, which featured number boards for kindergarten through sixth-grade students; and Spots, an animal therapy service.

The Brownsville Kiddie Health Center was on site, giving parents informational pamphlets stressing the importance of routine checkups, and teddy bears received a full physical, checking their heart beat, lungs and ears.

Spots brought two therapy pets for the kids to play with: an 8-year-old English Pointer named Alm (Irish for wisdom, according to Spots), and Luna, a 9-month-old ferret.

Jennifer Williams is the education director for the Brownsville Children’s Museum and organized the Teddy Bear Clinic. She said the goal of an event like this is to educate the public about the health options they have.

“The aim of this is basically health awareness, to get kids in and show that doctors are not scary, and so parents are aware of all the different organizations out there,” Williams said.

“They need to go to the doctor once a year for various checkups, not just pediatricians.”

Seratna Guadarrama Beltran, a biomedicine professor at UTRGV, said that given her profession, she understands the benefit of such events.

“I bring my kids all the time. We have a membership … so I love this event,” Guadarrama Beltran said. “It’s something that’s really good for the children.”

She added that she brings her students to give science lessons and thinks such events “should happen more often.”