Two meningitis charities have united to mark World Children’s Day 2013 at Temple Street Hospital.
With the help of 248 teddy bears, The Meningitis Research Foundation and ACT for Meningitis are raising public awareness of this life-threatening illness.
The bears represent the number of people in Ireland who contract meningitis each year. One in ten bears on display is white to mark those who lose their lives to this devastating disease.
Of those who survive, as many as one in five will suffer after-effects such as brain damage, amputations and hearing loss. Children, especially babies, are most at risk, with a quarter of cases striking those less than five years of age.
In a joint statement, the two charities said “With cases on the rise as winter approaches, we are coming together on Universal Children’s Day to urge parents to remain vigilant for this devastating disease. Although prevention is the best defence, children are not currently vaccinated against all forms of meningitis and therefore it is vital that parents learn the signs and symptoms of this disease and remain vigilant.”
Following the teddy bear display at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, the meningitis charities will donate the teddy bears to the hospital which will be gifted to patients in the hospital in time for Christmas.
To make yourself aware of the signs of meningitis, click here.