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October 31, 2017

Lions and boxers and trolls—how cute! NICU babies get dressed up for Halloween

Daily Briefing

    Hospitals across the country got into the Halloween spirit by dressing up their NICU patients in costumes—bringing some joy and celebration to both the infants and their parents.

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    "It can be a difficult time in the NICU, so any opportunity families can celebrate with their babies is amazing. It's Halloween. Every parent wants to dress their child up, and I hope these costumes can bring some normalcy for the holiday," Ingrid Peeples, a systems analysts at Beaumont Children's Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, said.

    At Beaumont, Peeples, whose daughter spent time in the hospital's NICU as an infant, and her friend Sarah Roberts created dozens of costumes to lay over the infants, ranging from a JIF peanut butter container to a Lions jersey.

    At St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, volunteers with help from the March of Dimes—a not-for-profit organization focused on pregnancy and baby health—prepared costumes and dressed the NICU babies as butterflies, superheroes, and even a ladybug.

    At Mercy Children's Hospital & Clinics in Des Moines, Iowa, one nurse in the NICU decided to make Halloween special for parents and, along with some help from her mother, made superhero capes for each of the 38 babies in the unit.

    One hospital, Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy in Omaha, Nebraska, threw a "Trolls"-themed Halloween party, dressing each of the NICU's babies in brightly colored wigs and outfits. All of the costumes were handmade by JoLynn Keplinger, a part-time NICU nurse.

    Meanwhile, at Advocate Children's Hospitals in Illinois, babies were dressed up as superheroes and pumpkins, with one patient dressed up as a tiny boxer, with a banner above his crib that said "Fight Like a Preemie: Chicago Heavy Weight Champion."

    "We came up with this idea because as you can see, he's been through many surgeries," said the child's father. "And every surgery he's gone through, he's gotten through it. He became a little boxer. He's a little fighter, my little champion" (Fox29, 10/27; Li, CBS8, 10/26; Fox News, 10/28; Des Moines Register, 10/26; Fox2/WJBK, 10/30; Klecker, Omaha World-Herald, 10/29).

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