Special clinic helps kids overcome fears of doctors’ visits

CARLISLE COUNTY, KY — Do your kids ever have an overwhelming fear of the doctor’s office? They’re not alone. That fear is why first responders and medical staff in Carlisle County, Kentucky, hosted a special clinic. They’re hoping to help children overcome their anxiety before their next doctor’s visit.

Charts, bandages, and heart monitors were all part of the pop-up clinic held Thursday. The patients weren’t who you’d expect at a clinic.

Brooklyn Johnson and her mom, Michaela, brought her three furry friends to get a checkup at the Teddy Bear Clinic. Michaela says Brooklyn was born at 23 weeks, so she’s no stranger to doctors’ offices.

“She has severe anxiety. I mean, it’s terrible. It’s not fun at all. We tried different doctors, but everywhere we go, she still has very bad anxiety,” Johnson said.

Johnson says visits like these help kids with those fears.

Organizer Lauren Dudley says kids who show up without a stuffed animal are able to adopt one, take it through the clinic, and then take it home to keep.

Dudley also says this clinic helps boost children’s confidence before they step into health care settings.

“They understand that if their teddy bear can get a shot, then they can get a shot too. So, it decreases that anxiety for them,” Dudley said.

Johnson says Brooklyn recently had a checkup, but she hopes Thursday’s visit with Teddy, Sky, and Peaches will help Brooklyn through her next doctor visit down the road.

“When they fix their boo boos and it makes it all better, they’re not as scared,” Johnson said.

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