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Operation: Banana Sutures

Looking for ways to keep kids engaged this summer? We have the activity for you! Humane Animal Rescue’s Humane and Wildlife Education Department would like to share some of our resources with the community during this difficult time. We have many crafts and activities in our programming, and this activity is from our Vet Camp for 5th and 6th graders. So, grab your gear and let’s get down to business!

 

What You’ll Need
  • Small Paperclip (the suture)

Tip: This can also be done with a sewing needle, depending on the age of the child.

  • Dental floss (the suture)

Tip: Dental tape works the best.

  • Tweezers (the suture)

Veterinarians will use hemostats or tweezers to hold the needle when giving sutures. It might be easier to use your hands for this project, but you can also try it with tweezers!

  • Banana (the patient)

Tip: You can leave the banana in the peel, or remove it beforehand to reduce excess mess.

  • Gloves (optional)

Tip: Add gloves and a mask for the ultimate surgical experience!

 

Directions
  1. Assembling the Suture:
    • Take your paperclip and open/unbend it. Then bend the whole thing into a curved or “U” shape.
    • Tie dental floss to the end of the paper clip.
    • You will want about 1-2 feet of floss, depending on the length of the peel incision.
    • Tie a knot at the end of the floss.
  1. Make an Incision:
    • Make an incision along the length of the banana, splitting open the peel. (This is what we will be suturing back together!)
  2. Stitch It Up:
    • Take your surgical suture tool (the paperclip and floss) to the top of the incision- you can now begin to stitch the patient back up! The technique of continuous sutures will work the best:
      • Push the (paperclip) suture down into the peel on one side of the incision and up and out the other side of the cut.
      • Pull the floss through, and repeat.
      • For example, if you first poked the suture down on the right side of the incision and up on the left, continue to do that pattern until you have made your way all the way down the incision.
    • Wrapping Things Up:
      • There are a lot of different kinds of surgical knots you can do to tie off the stitches you have just completed. Some popular knots are a square knot and surgeons knot.

 

This activity simulates what our skilled veterinarians do on a daily basis at our veterinary center. A great deal of the surgeries they perform are spay and neuter procedures. At Vet Camp, kids learn about veterinary science, meet animal guests, and do a lot more activities like this banana suture one!

Why is spaying and neutering so important? Spaying and Neutering prevents more animals being born, which helps to prevent overpopulation. There are plenty of animals in the United States that need good homes, so we work hard to make sure that we are spaying and neutering the animals adopted from our organization. Spaying is a surgery that female animals have, and neutering is a surgery that male animals have. They have different parts, after all!

 

While we are unable to have in-person camps this summer, we have virtual camps with camp kits to help keep the fun going all summer long. Be sure to check out all of our virtual programming here, email us with any questions at education@humaneanimalrescue.org.

Register for Virtual Camp Rescue

 

Written by:

 

Sandi Comunale
Humane & Wildlife Educator
ext. 503