Having a child in the hospital is one of the most difficult challenges a parent may face. Knowing one’s child is unwell and experiencing fear and pain is crippling. On top of that, keeping them from experiencing the childhood parents have envisioned adds additional heartache. Whether the child is missing out on warm beach days or confined to the hospital for celebrations, the whole situation seems cruel and unfair. While the medical staff does everything in their power to make your child happy and healthy, there are ways to bring a bit of fun, excitement, and joy to the sterile hospital room.
With Halloween fast approaching, parents are reminded of another tradition their children will miss out on because of their illness. Though trick-or-treating is a beloved adventure for all children, it is possible to harness some Halloween excitement from the hospital room. Many hospitals across the country plan special Halloween activities for children, sometimes even trick-or-treating on the ward. For the hospitals that are unable to plan special events, there are 5 easy ways to bring the childhood joys of Halloween to the bedside.
1. Scary movies
Halloween is notoriously spooky – and the scares are part of the fun! Set up a movie night with you and your child to watch some Halloween classics. Some of the less-spooky options could be Scooby-Doo, Charlie Brown, and Hocus Pocus.
2. Carve pumpkins
One of the oldest and most cherished traditions of Halloween is carving pumpkins. Cutting open a Jack-o-lantern and scooping out the insides will not only be a lot of fun – but it will make the room smell like Halloweens at home.
3. Make your own haunted house
A few strands of fairy lights, some decorative cobweb, and some eerie music will make you and your child forget you’re in a hospital. If your child loves crafts, work together to make some DIY decorations.
4. Special treats
What is Halloween without sweet treats? You can never go wrong with candy or caramel apples, but if time allows there are plenty of other creative options. Strawberries dipped in white chocolate can easily become ghosts, rice crispy treats can be made into endless creepy shapes (including monster eyeballs!), and hot dogs can transform into ancient mummies.
5. Dress to impress
Finally – every child’s favorite part about Halloween is picking out a clever costume. Help your child plan an outfit and join them in dressing up at the hospital. If you don’t have the time to plan for an elaborate costume, make a quick stop at Walmart and grab some face paint.
There’s no doubt that it can be difficult to celebrate holidays from a hospital. Bringing the excitement of Halloween to your child’s bedside can reignite the magic of the spooky season and help them find the fun hidden in day-to-day routine. When planning a Halloween celebration; however, it is important to first speak with the healthcare team. Costumes, decorations, and special treats could interfere with the flow of the hospital or present dangers to the patients. However you wish to celebrate, the National Foundation for Cancer Research wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween.