Even premature babies can celebrate Halloween, thanks to some amazing nurses

Halloween is one holiday we definitely associate with fun: candy, creative costumes, and imaginations gone wild. It’s an especially fun holiday for children and for exactly those reasons. But if you have a child in a neonatal ward at the hospital, Halloween isn’t so much fun: you’re consumed by anxiety over your little one’s well-being or even their very survival.

Premature birth is nerve-wracking for any parent. Modern medical technology has made it possible for more preemies to survive but it’s still terribly risky. A baby born earlier than 23 weeks has almost no chance of survival but by 24 weeks, that number is over 50%. Just a week later, at 25 weeks, fully 80% of preemies can be expected to survive — even then, it can’t be easy for parents to face a 1 in 5 chance that their baby won’t make it.

The wonderful neonatal ICU nurses at the Advocate Children’s Hospital in Chicago understand that a little holiday fun can lift the spirits of worried family members. So they started an annual tradition of dressing up their tiny patients in creative Halloween costumes. They even hold a contest, although as they say, “We think they are ALL winners!” Some of the delightful costumes the nurses made include: pumpkins, Beast from “Beauty and the Beast,” Popeye, a ladybug, a rabbit, and even a peacock. The nurses also made knit hats with themes like black cats, ghosts, and candy corn.

The neonatal ICU staff were already heroes, but bringing extra comfort and a little joy to to the hospital ward shows just how much they care. We’d love to hear your thoughts about this very special way of celebrating Halloween. Drop us a line in the comments at Facebook and don’t forget to like and share to honor these amazing healthcare workers!