Upper School Student Serves Health Center Visitors With Creation of Comforting ‘Cuddle Kits’
For many young children, the experience of a medical setting can sometimes be a little unsettling. St. Margaret’s senior Talia Besikof wanted to help.
Talia is the creator of Cuddle Kits, a pediatric-centered medical kit with kid-friendly items to help children through what can be an uncomfortable time in a medical setting. She initially had the idea to serve local hospitals, yet wondered if there may be a need right here at St. Margaret’s.
Talia reached out to Lower School Principal Jennifer Blount and St. Margaret’s school nurses, all of whom thought Cuddle Kits would be a valuable addition to St. Margaret’s Health Center. The PTF wanted to help, too, and awarded a PTF Grant to Talia to bring Cuddle Kits to St. Margaret’s.
Recently, Talia delivered 11 Cuddle Kits to the Health Center. Each kit includes a sensory toy, a small coloring book, a pop-it fidget toy, stickers and a stuffed animal.
“I carefully curated the contents of the boxes to provide items that were both comforting
and sensory friendly,” Talia said. “I also chose to include activities that could distract attention away from uncomfortable medical procedures.”
Talia was inspired by her childhood experiences in hospital settings, as well as the often-uncomfortable nasal swabs required to test for COVID-19 in recent years. “The idea is to offer children a distraction and comforting incentive during medical testing or treatment,” Talia said.
“We are so thankful for this great idea and act of service by Talia and the support of the PTF to bring Cuddle Kits to the Health Center,” St. Margaret’s school nurse Emma Perry said. “We have begun to share these with our young students and appreciate the added source of warmth and comfort they bring.”
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