Last evening we watched an episode Disney Junior’s “Doc McStuffins,” an animated series aimed at kids age 2-7. Premiering Friday, March 23rd on the Disney Junior block on Disney Channel (10:00-11:00 a.m., ET/PT) and the new 24-hour Disney Junior channel (4:00-5:00 p.m., ET/PT). With a daughter terrified of doctors, the show’s premise–a 6 year old girl “Doc” who takes care of her stuffed animals and toys that come to life–is refreshing. After just one episode the kids are already asking to “see it again” and the doctor kit came out almost immediately. I’m hoping Comcast addes the Disney Junior channel to our station lineup so we can enjoy this delightful new series later this month.
The “Doc” is in! Here are some helpful, healthy tips for little ones from Sandra de Castro Buffington.
- Make sure to get enough rest. Doc is always on hand to heal stuffed animals and broken toys out of her backyard playhouse clinic, and she and her friends often learn important health lessons, too. For example, when Ricardo the racecar loses a race for the first time, Doc diagnoses him with “No-Vroom-Vroom-atosis” – Ricardo’s tired and needs his batteries recharged! This is also true for young viewers who need to recharge their own batteries by taking a nap between playtime.
- Don’t forget to wash your hands. After Doc, her brother Donny and his toy monster Glo-Bo have fun with finger painting, a rash of blue spots breaks out and the clinic is filled with toys covered with mysterious blue dots! Doc realizes all of the spotted toys came in contact with Glo-Bo, who didn‘t wash his hands after finger painting! Doc reminds the gang at the clinic – and at home – of the importance of washing your hands to avoid spreading germs. It’s important to drink plenty of water. Sometimes kids and adults alike forget that they need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated – especially when it’s hot outside. When Donny casts aside his favorite toy fire engine Lenny because he’s not spouting water out of his fire hose anymore, Doc and her toys come to the rescue and discover that Lenny is out of water. Once she fills him back up, he’s as good as new and all of the toys learn a lesson about dehydration.
- Big kids have to be careful when playing with little kids. Doc and Donny’s new toy brontosaurus, Bronty, demonstrates why it’s important for big kids to be careful when playing with little kids. As a dinosaur, Bronty is much bigger than the other toys, and sometimes he accidentally hurts those he’s playing with. When all the other toys come down with Bronto Boo-Boos (cured through cuddles and kisses), Bronty learns it’s important to play gently with toys that are smaller than he is.
- Sometimes you have to take it easy after you get hurt. As much as kids want to get up and start playing again right away after they get hurt, Doc helps kids understand that sometimes you need to rest a little while to make sure you’re all better, like when Donny’s friend Luca’s toy helicopter Rescue Ronda loses one of her rotors. After gluing it back on, Doc explains to Ronda that she needs to rest and give the glue time to dry, but when Ronda takes off to the sky shortly after, her rotor falls off again and Doc finally convinces her that sometimes when you get hurt, you have to take it easy for a while in order to heal.
Sandra de Castro Buffington is director of Hollywood, Health & Society, a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center helping to improve the accuracy of health-related storylines on top television programs. With nearly 30 years of experience, de Castro Buffington has consulted on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “90210,” “House M.D.,” “Army Wives,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and is the medical consultant for “Doc McStuffins.”