Young Patients at Indiana Children's Hospital Diagnose Stuffed Animals

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-03_6600347056.jpgRiley Hospital for Children/ABC News (BLOOMINGTON, Ind.) -- Kids at the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health diagnosed teddy bears on Friday, giving the stuffed animals shots, putting medical bracelets on their plush arms and putting them through fake MRIs. Doctors say the exercise is designed to help children understand some of the treatments they may undergo during their hospital stay.

“Medical play gives kids a chance to master their hospital experience,” said Sara Barnett, a manager at the hospital. “Allowing them to play with medical equipment familiarizes the experience and gives them healthy coping mechanisms so they won’t be scared when they see a syringe or a CAT scan during treatment.”

According to Barnett, research backs up this kind of “medical play,” which is used routinely by the hospital.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio