ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - Hundreds of local kids checked out UNM Hospital Tuesday morning. The hospital kicked off its popular Teddy Bear Care event, which is celebrating its ninth year.
Staff from UNM Hospital admitted a different kind of patient for the event. Teddy bears, giraffes, all brought in by kids learning more about hospital procedures.
"This is important to get all the kids throughout the community involved to know that the hospital isn't such a scary place; they can also have fun," said Jennifer Kean, interim director of UNM's Child Life Program.
Going from station to station, more than 200 kids gave their stuffed animals a check-up.
"We're asking them for the names of their Teddy bears and we're writing the names down and then we're sending them off to rest," said UNM student assistant Elena Sanchez.
For those age 5 and under, the event allows them to play doctor, with an operating table, wheelchairs, and more.
"At each station you can see whether or not their heart was working well, and they had a chance to see if they could look at the insides of their animals and pets," said Michael Richards, who participated with his grandson.
A fun learning experience for parents and kids, providing a glimpse into what a hospital is about.
"I like the getting dressed part," said young Adele Jee, whose mother helped her put on scrubs.
The free interactive event attracts big crowds each year.
"It's a great experience for these kids, especially at this age," said Richards.
The event is sponsored by UNM Children's Hospital.