Allergy Friendly Teddy Bear Available at Build-A-Bear Workshop {Review}

I never fathomed just how hard it was to have a child with allergies until Raileigh was diagnosed with a severe dust allergy a few months ago.

For her health, we had to begin making changes immediately.  Some of those changes weren’t too difficult to make.  I began to dust, vacuum and sweep our home more often… but in truth, those things probably needed doing anyhow.  We also purchased protective coverings for both the mattress and pillows to help reduce exposure to dust mites.

However, some things that we had to do were genuinely hard.  Because of the severity of her allergy, our allergist recommended getting rid of all her stuffed animals.  Stuffed animals are like a magnet for dust and dust mites, and children tend to cling to them and hold them near their face.  This may not seem like such a big deal, but to a four year old who likes to sleep with her “friends that don’t talk” each night, it was quite heartbreaking.

In the end, we compromised.  We got rid of over half of her stuffed friends, only keeping those that she treasured the most.  Even still, I felt like I was doing her a disservice allowing her to keep something that I know can potentially make her sick.

Needless to say, I literally jumped for joy when I heard about Velvet Hugs Teddy from Build-A-Bear Workshop.  This teddy bear is actually certified ALLERGY FRIENDLY by the Asthma and Allergy Association of America.  Can you believe it– a stuffed bear that is actually safe for children like mine!

I am certain you are wondering what actually makes this bear allergy friendly.  It has been manufactured from materials that do not contain certain chemicals and allergens at levels known to affect asthma and allergies.  Under normal conditions and usage, including following the specific care guidelines, the bear will not accumulate high levels of household allergens {read: dust}.

The care instructions are included with the bear and should be carried out every four weeks:

  • Place bear in freezer bag
  • Place in freezer for 24 hours
  • Machine was cold with a mild detergent and no fabric softener
  • Tumble dry low

Build-A-Bear Workshop gave us the opportunity to visit our local location so that Raileigh could make her very own Sweet Velvet Teddy in light brown.

Raileigh was able to choose the level of stuffing she wanted in her bear.  She went with “medium”.  Now– I was concerned that with the special care and washings this bear would endure that the stuffing might lose it’s fluffiness over time.  No worries there, though!  You can take the bear back into any Build-A-Bear Workshop store and they will be happy to add additional stuffing to your bear and give it a little TLC at no charge.

After stuffing the bear, Raileigh was able to brush and “bathe” her bear.  Then, it was time to name the bear and create a special birth certificate!  Raileigh typed in all of the information by herself, as the computers are REALLY kid-friendly.  She chose the name “Special Bear” because she is special and made specifically for kids with allergies.

Afterwards, it was time to dress our new stuffed friend.  Raileigh went for the sparkliest pink and purple dress she could find.  It’s the Pink and Purple Sequin Tulle Dress.  She also selected the Pink Gem Heels shoes to complete the outfit.  She has informed me, though, that she wants to go back and get the doctor outfit and wheelchair so that she can play doctor with her new bear.

Quick note– after you build and dress the bear and start removing tags, make sure to save the hang tag from the actual bear.  That’s where the care instructions are and you will definitely need them.

I am very appreciative that Build-A-Bear Workshop creates a special bear for children who normally wouldn’t get to have a special stuffed animal to cuddle with.  Special Bear has not left my daughter’s side since she was created.  This stuffed friend is truly one very “special bear”.

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