The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UIHC prepares for Halloween with costumes, trick-or-treating event

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital is preparing for Halloween with decorations and safari-themed costumes.
Cody Blissett
The University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics is seen on Wednesday, June 19, 2023.

The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital employees and patients are gearing up to celebrate Halloween with costumes, trick-or-treating, and spooky decorations.

UIHC received 20 boxes of costumes through the Spirit of Children, sponsored by the seasonal store Spirit Halloween. The store has donated Halloween supplies to child life departments within hospitals since 2006. Walt Disney World also donated costumes and other decorations relating to Disney characters to UIHC.

Child Life Programming Specialist Emily Baxter said the hospital is distributing costumes to kids and will continue to do so until Halloween. Kids will be able to wear the costumes and participate in a trick-or-treating event on the 12th floor of the hospital.

Employees on the child life team started to decorate doors and give kids decorations that they can put up on their windows. Baxter said the decorations have kept the excitement building for the trick-or-treating event on Halloween.

UIHC spokesperson Taylor Vessel said costumes are usually against the hospital’s policy. However, from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31, Halloween costumes will be allowed for kids and staff.

Kids will gallivant through 17 tables in UIHC, which hosts a variety of different programs, such as the children’s library, guest services, and the new facility dogs.

Baxter said the trick-or-treating event aims to create a sense of normalcy for the patients.

“We try to create as much normalcy as we can and one way is by recognizing special holidays like Halloween,” Baxter said.

There are 19 employees under the child life team, and they will be celebrating by having a safari theme for their costumes.

UIHC recently received two new facility dogs named Nacho and Corrin in August.

Funded through the donors of the UI Center for Advancement, the dogs provide animal-assisted therapy through walking with patients, providing emotional support, and assisting in the process of coping with being in a hospital.

The facility dogs will stick with the safari theme. Nacho is dressing up as a lion and Corrin as an elephant. Child Life Specialist and Nacho’s handler Emily Bradley said the hospital made a cardboard jeep for the dogs and kids to enjoy when they are trick-or-treating.

This will be the first year for facility dogs to participate in Halloween celebrations at the hospital. Bradley said it will provide an exciting opportunity for the kids at the hospital.

RELATED: UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital receives two furry helpers

“It’ll just be a really neat way to reach a lot of patients in a short amount of time that we don’t always get to do, so we’re very excited,” Bradley said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween celebrations at the hospital have been restricted in the interest of keeping everyone healthy.

Baxter said everyone was still masked last Halloween, and UIHC employees staggered groups to not have too many people in one place. She said 2019 was the last year that they were able to do full celebrations, and this will be the first year that Halloween is back to normal at UIHC.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Jack Moore, News Reporter
Jack Moore is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. Jack is from Cedar Rapids Iowa, and he reports on crime and courts for the news section and creates media content for the digital section at the The Daily Iowan. Along with working at The Daily Iowan, Jack works for the University of Iowa's UI-REACH program as a Resident Assistant. UI-REACH is a program for students with learning, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities intended to provide support to these students throughout their college experience. Additionally, Jack is involved in Iowa City's live music scene as he plays bass for local Iowa City band "Two Canes".
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.