Connecticut Children’s Brings Halloween to Patients

patients dressed as surgeonsConnecticut Children’s Child Life department brings Halloween to patients who are unable to leave the hospital. In an annual tradition called “Reverse Trick-or-Treating,” Connecticut Children’s staff dress up in costumes and go door-to-door throughout the inpatient units bearing plenty of treats!

“Halloween is a big deal for kids,” says Lead Child Life Specialist Christine Tatem. “They look forward to it and plan for months. We don’t want our patients to miss out because they are in the hospital. We had to find a way to bring Halloween to them. Reverse Trick-or-Treating allows all of our patients to participate – even those who need to stay in their rooms.”

Staff dressed up in Halloween costumesPatients’ bags are stuffed with goodies, from stickers and spider rings to tattoos and slime. Our littlest patients receive items such as board books, building blocks, stuffed animals and bibs. There are even Halloween onesies for infants and bibs for babies in the NICU. Patients can either wear a costume from home, or are offered one from the Medical Center’s collection.

Over the years, both patients and staff have dressed up in many impressive costumes. “My favorite memory is of a patient who dressed as her doctor,” Tatem says. “She went as far to get a cap to mimic his receding hairline and mastered his walk and mannerisms. It was a perfect imitation! Luckily, the doctor had a sense of humor about it and appreciated it as the tribute to him that it was meant to be.”

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