Cerebral Palsy Children in Wheelchairs Have Fun on Halloween
Every year children look forward to Halloween festivities which include wearing costumes of their favorite characters, playing with other children and eating candy. Children with cerebral palsy that are confined to a wheelchair do not have to miss out on the fun of Halloween. There are several ways to ensure that your child creates a happy memory with friends, family, and neighbors.
Children in wheelchairs are not being left out. Parents in Melrose Park, Illinois turn their son Anthony’s wheelchair into elaborate Halloween costumes.
His mother says, “Halloween is just a day when we can just stop looking at the actual wheelchair and look at the boy in the costume.”
You can read more about his story here.
There are many clever and fun ideas for costumes. Parents Magazine has shared 16 costume ideas made by parents. Each costume idea includes step by step instructions on how to do-it-yourself.
Wheelchair Trick or Treating Safety
Once you've completed your child's costume and you are ready to show it off, you'll need to take into consideration safety. Taking safety precautions will help ensure that you both have a satisfying trick or treating experience.
Here are some wheelchair trick or treating safety tips:
- Plan your route by checking the neighborhood for any non-wheelchair accessible areas.
- Add reflective lights onto the front and back of your child’s wheelchair. You can also have them wear glow lights.
- Make sure that you are fully alert of your surroundings.
- Keep an eye out for cars that may come around the corner quickly.
- If your child has a power wheelchair, make sure that it is fully charged.
- Be sure that you accompany your child to each house that is visited.
- Try talking to your neighbors ahead of time. Ask them if they can come greet your child if their home has steps.
Many businesses and organizations understand the importance of safety for special needs children on Halloween. You may want to consider taking your child trick or treating at public places that are wheelchair friendly, such as your local mall.
Some neighborhoods, churches, and schools will host trunk or treating. This is where your child can go trick or treating in the safety of a public parking lot. Fun4OrlandoKids.com is a website that can help you locate events like this near you.
Alternatives to Trick or Treating
There is no reason why your child can’t have a fun Halloween if he or she is not able to go trick or treating. Parents can plan to have a Halloween party at home with friends and family. There are a multitude of games that can be played and also many treats that can be made to create a fun Halloween party.
Here are a few fun party ideas:
- Face painting
- Candy corn in a jar count competition
- Play music to dance and sing along to
- Hire a magician or clown
It is important for children to be and feel engaged. Play is a part of learning especially for children with CP. When planning the Halloween party try to remember that children with cerebral palsy have slightly different needs and the games should be stimulating.