Pediatric Patients Enjoy a “Spooktacular” Halloween Parade with Long Beach Fire Fighters

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Spooktacular Halloween Parade

Kayla, (6) Miller Children’s patient, dresses up as a fairy firefighter and prepares for the parade with Captain Greg Curiel, Fire Station 2, Long Beach Department.

More than 20 firefighters and Miller Children’s mascot Millie the Dolphin joined 50 pediatric patients as part of the annual Halloween parade. For more than 25 years, members of the Long Beach Fire Department attend Miller Children’s Halloween parade and buddy up with pediatric patients too sick to leave the hospital. Members of the Long Beach Fire Department lent a helping hand by pushing children in wheelchairs, walking with their “IV poles” and transporting children in wagons through the hallways from department to department to trick-or-treat for healthy treats and small prizes. Firefighters and volunteers had extra bags they filled with goodies and delivered bedside to give patients that were unable to attend the trick-or-treat parade.

“Being hospitalized is never easy for anyone, but it can be especially hard for children during a holiday,” says Rita Goshert, manager, Child Life, Miller Children’s. “On Halloween, these kids aren’t typically used to being in a hospital, but rather, at their school Halloween parade or trick-or-treating with their family and neighbors. But since they are here, we do the next best thing and bring the trick-or-treating indoors and get the entire hospital staff behind it. Instead of visiting different houses, kids visit different hospital departments, and this year we’ve even added a Haunted House. We are so grateful to the LBFD for Kids, who take the time to pair up with each of our patients, to give them and their families, a fun-filled Halloween that everyone deserves.”

On the final stop of the parade, patients and firefighters faced a “haunted house” in the pediatric rehabilitation gym. Lights were dimmed and the room was filled with spooky decorations, but together the patients and firefighters conquered their fears and made it through. Bravely conquering their fears in the haunted house and in the hospital, patients were rewarded with special treats for being courageous on their journey.

The event is coordinated by LBFD for Kids and the Child Life Program at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. The Child Life Program was developed to help make the hospital experience more positive for children of all ages. Child Life Specialists plan individualized and group programs that help children adjust to their hospital stay and promote the continuity of normal, daily childhood activities.

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