CONCUSSION was a major check-point for teddy bears, other toy friends and their human buddies to consider in a special hospital on Monday morning.
The University of Melbourne's first rural Teddy Bear Hospital put the common brain injury in the spotlight in a bid to get more youngsters thinking more about their heads.
Watch Kallen give take Humpty Dumpty through a routine blood test below
Final year medical student Jess Wynn hoped in promoting awareness, this young generation could look out for each other better in the school yard and on sporting fields into the future.
"We hope they will apply what they learn to real life, like is a friend feels dizzy after a soccer match, they know what to do," Ms Wynn said. "We're aiming for younger kids because there is a lot more informal running around and sometimes it's not cool to stop the game and sit out. We want these guys to become concussion champions and look out for their friends and suggest they take a rest and see the doctor.
"Hopefully they can tell their parents, too."
This builds on the HeadFirst concussion program developed by a fellow student (now doctor) in Melbourne that is being rolled out into schools and sporting clubs.
Ms Wynn said, as a student in Ballarat, it was important to give back to to the local community and share this too.
St Kilda footballer Paddy McCartin came with a similar message in his visit to Eastern Oval on Saturday. Mr McCartin urged all players to speak up if feeling unwell - he continued to struggle with the lingering effects of a career-halting headknock in an AFL practice match at Mars Stadium in March.
Lumen Christi Primary School hosted the Teddy Bear Hospital with grade prep, one and two pupils working through a series of quick workshops. Concussion stops included brain anatomy and sensory deprivation.
There was surgery, X-rays. physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, healthy eating and a dentist chair workshops, each specially adapted for teddy bears and their toy friends including Humpty Dumpty, a giant unicorn and a plush Essendon star Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti.
Grade one pupil Samantha and her furry friend Beary said the blood test stop was most fun.
"It was interesting because I've never had a blood test before - now I know what to do if I need one or Mum does," Samantha said.
Similarly for classmate Lucy and her friend Lamb Lamb who had never seen inside an ambulance before and now know what they have to do if they need one.
It was interesting because I've never had a blood test before - now I know what to do if I need one or Mum does.Samantha, grade one
The hospital was also an important learning experience for University of Melbourne students, who traditionally test their skills working with children in a teddy clinic session in Melbourne. This time, with help from a couple of fellow Deakin medical students, they could bring the experience to Ballarat.
"For some of us, this is the first encounter with children in medicine. Some of us have done paediatrics, but it's really important," Ms Wynn said. "Telling their teddy what could happen when you meet a doctor or allied health professional helps break down the fear."
Lumen Christi team leader Jessica Reynolds said play-based learning enquiry was important and last term's toy hospital had proven particularly popular. Ms Reynolds said the teddy bear hospital was a great way to both build on this and support the region's medical students.
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