Children turn nurses as medics spread first-aid and health messages in Sunderland

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A FAMILY fun day was just what the doctor ordered for Wearside youngsters.

Dolls and teddy bears were given a health check-up by youngsters at a toy hospital as part of an event to help families scrub up on their first-aid knowledge and speak to health professionals.

Sunderland Children, Washington Centre, hosted the health-focused day at the Rainbow Family Centre, with nurses, pharmacists and GPs among the professionals on hand offering helpful advice and tips for dealing with health problems and injuries.

Children talked to the GPs and nurses about any bumps and bruises their toys had and how best to treat them.

Parents and carers were also given the opportunity to speak to health professionals about how to deal with injuries and illnesses in their young ones.

The day was designed to educate families on what to do in the event of injury or illness, helping them to understand where to turn with different problems, in an effort to reduce the number of unnecessary cases presenting at accident and emergency hospital departments.

Megan Slaughter, 22, who attended with her son Tyler Stanners, said: “The children’s centres are great. There is always something fun and free for the kids to do and events like these are educational and fun, so it’s win-win.”

GP Practice Nurse, Tracey Sawyer-Copus, said: “I love events like these because it’s a great opportunity for us to show children where to go and what to do if something does go wrong.

“Going to the doctor or to the hospital can be really scary for someone so young, so events like these where children can see bandages, syringes, stethoscopes and thermometers really helps make the real thing a lot easier for them to cope with.”

Dr Olagoke Aiyegbayo, a GP from the Washington, said: “Events like these are great, we need to be educating children and parents on appropriate healthcare. The earlier we start teaching the earlier we can get people on board about looking after themselves the right way.”

Councillor Pat Smith, portfolio holder for Children’s Services, said she was delighted so many health professionals went along to the event.

She added: “Our Children’s Centres always strive to give families across Sunderland the best knowledge and tools to better themselves and be safe and happy, so we’re delighted that we had local GPs and nurses along to help.”