Have you heard of troostbeertjes? I recently read a news article about a little girl who witnessed a car accident. She was understandably upset and to help comfort her, the police agents attending the scene gave her a troostbeertje, which literally translates to a little comfort teddy bear.
Such a simple thing to do, but it has a big impact. I know first hand as my children each received a troostbeer in April 2015 when my father in law fell and broke his hip. My children (then aged 4 & 6) and I were with him at the time and had to call 112. It was quite traumatic for them, seeing their opa in so much pain and by the time the ambulance arrived, both children (and myself) were in tears.
Two friendly police officers also arrived as the ambulance officers were loading my father in law up into the ambulance. The moment they saw my two children crying, they opened the boot of their police car, and lifted two sweet little teddy bears out and then presented them to my kids. They hugged their soft, sweet little bears and were consoled by them.
The Troostbeer Nederland Foundation supports organizations and institutions that receive children with mental and / or physical suffering as a result of unpleasant experiences. This is partly achieved through the use of comfort bears by employees of the fire brigade, ambulance and police. In this way, hundreds of children are comforted every year.
Cuddly teddy bears were first invented to offer comfort to children who were scared in the dark. They assist young children in times of setbacks and insecurity and it is sweet to see them still being used to comfort children to this day.