SAN ANTONIO – Babies and children at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio are celebrating Halloween, even in the midst of the pandemic.
From dragons to mermaids and even Disney-inspired costumes, babies in the NICU got all dressed up for their very first Halloween.
“We dress them up because we want to help the parents create a memory for their babies when they’re here in the hospital. It’s their first holiday," a staff member with the children’s hospital said.
Nurses and other staff members decided on the costumes for each one of the babies, based on their sizes and their personalities.
“We looked at the babies individually and decided what types of costumes we thought they should have," one staff member with the hospital said. “Obviously, our little girl who’s older could fill out her Tinker Bell costume and rock her tutu, so we wanted her to have that. The twins we dressed as dragons because we’ve come to know their parents over the last few months and we knew that they really enjoyed literature like Harry Potter. So we just automatically went to dragons."
Child life specialists and other associates at the hospital also held a “reverse trick-or-treating” event for the older children by delivering candy and other goodies.
The patients were safe in their hospital rooms and were able to dress in their favorite costumes as they received their Halloween treats.
Hospital employees also dressed up for the occasion as they conducted contactless drop-offs of the Halloween treat bags. Only a limited number of people, all of whom wore face masks, took part in the reverse trick-or-treating event to enforce social distancing.
The program is a collaboration between the hospital and Spirit Halloween. This year, Spirit of Children, an initiative of Spirit Halloween, sent care packages to the children, along with costumes, activity books, crayons and treat bags.
“Spirit of Children has been a wonderful partner to us for more than a decade now. We cannot thank them enough for their continued support, even with the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said John E. Bel, president of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, in a statement. “Because of their generosity, our Child Life team can provide more services to improve the hospital experience for our patients and their families.”