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      Treating fears at the annual Teddy Bear clinic

      Kids and parents made their way to Blessing Hospital on Sunday afternoon to take part in an event that has become a tradition for some families.

      The Blessing-Reiman College of Nursing Teddy Bear Clinic gives nursing students and area families a chance to meet each other in a safe environment and to help kids get over their fears of doctors, nurses and all things medical.

      It can be a little overwhelming for kids to go to the doctor for the first time. But for 25 years the Blessing-Reiman College of Nursing Teddy Bear clinic has helped to make that visit a little easier.

      Junior nursing student T.J. Tester says that the event gives the kids a chance to see the nurses in a different light than they normally would when they go to the doctor.

      "It's a fun environment," Tester said. "So they see us all in lab coats when they go to the doctor and maybe they're scared. So they get here and they see this environment that's fun and loving and teaching and so I think they feel a little bit more comfortable being at the doctors."

      The stations set up around the clinic gave the kids the chance to give shots, do exams on their favorite doll or stuffed animal and even learn about good dental health from the tooth fairy herself.

      For Melinda Mitchell of Quincy bringing her kids to the clinic brought back special memories for her as well.

      "I came when I was younger and I wanted to bring my kids and have them experience it," Mitchell said. "And it's good for them to get out in the community and get to know other people and learn how to take care of their babies so they can learn how to take care of themselves."

      T.J. Tester says that another goal of the event is to to show the kids the importance of eating right.

      "It's really important to know what to put in your body, fruits, vegetables," Tester said. "Everyone needs protein, iron, calcium for their bones and their body to be healthy."

      The kids also got the chance to learn about second hand smoke and to get an up close look at emergency vehicles from the Air-Evac, the fire department and the ambulance service.

      Thirty nursing students from Blessing-Reiman and John Wood participated in the event.