UC Davis Children's Hospital’s Halloween celebration took place today on the pediatrics unit. Patients and staff got into the Halloween spirit with costumes, games and trick-or-treating. The special event was made possible by the Davis 7 pediatric nurses and the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department.
The pediatrics unit was fully decorated, incorporating this year’s monster theme. Patients dressed up in costumes, many of which were donated by local Spirit Halloween stores, and were given bags to go trick-or-treating through the hospital’s hallways. They also enjoyed the different stations with face painting, family photos, games and monster adoptions, with the help of employee volunteers.
Employees from 11 UC Davis Health departments staffed different doors on the pediatrics unit, providing treats for children who knock.
This is the second year that Carolyn Ramirez has volunteered to staff a door, on behalf of Government and Community Relations.
"I love bringing smiles to the kiddos' faces," said Ramirez, who was passing out Finding Nemo bubbles, Halloween rubber ducks and monster stress balls to children on the unit.
This was also the second year that Emmaline Cain and her son, Austin, experienced Halloween at UC Davis Children's Hospital.
Austin's favorite thing to do? "Trick or treating!" he said quickly.
"I told Austin that you never get so many toys when you're trick or treating in the neighborhood," said Cain, who was holding two bags filled with goodies from the morning's activities.
For nurse manager Angie Marin, Halloween is a labor of a love.
“There are no do-overs for Halloween. You can’t put on your costume and knock on doors on November 1st or any other day and get a treat,” said Marin. "Children start getting excited about Halloween in September. They look forward to this day with such anticipation. I think one child summed it up today when she proclaimed this was a 'totally awesome day.' For a couple of hours, we are able to help them forget about their illness and just celebrate being a kid."
For kids who worked up a monster appetite after the morning's fun, Food and Nutrition Services catered monster fingers (chicken tenders), jack o' lantern mandarin oranges, carrots and ranch dressing and jack o' lantern cookies.