A hospital or doctor's office are two places kids don't exactly want to be on Halloween. But employees at Sanford Children's are trying to make the experience a bit more bearable by bringing the trick-or-treat-like atmosphere to the kids.
From a rodeo clown taking you back to your doctor's appointment to a doctor and nurses dressing up as pirates, employees at the Castle are turning the building into more of a festive atmosphere.
Four-year-old Ellianna Dengler spends plenty of time in doctors' offices because her two-year-old brother has a developmental delay.
"Today when we had to do blood work and that kind of stuff, it wasn't fun," Ellianna's Mother Denice Dengler said.
But the goofy costumes made the visit a little more enjoyable.
"The kids were so excited and they had to check them all out," Denice said.
While some people might think it's unprofessional for doctors to dress up in costumes, Dr. Chuanpit Moser says she'll try anything that will help her patients.
"I hope the children like it because we did all this for them," Moser said.
If the costumes aren't enough to get the kids excited, maybe the candy will be.
"We take care of sick children to make it fun and a great atmosphere," Moser said.
Staff, patients and patients' families also took part in a pumpkin painting contest and a chili cook-off.
All treats aside, Moser says when kids are sick; their attitude can make a big difference in their recovery.
Not to mention, this unusual "Hospital Halloween" will give patients something positive to talk about.
"They're going to talk about it. I can't wait for Dad to come home because they'll be like, 'You'll never guess,'" Denice said.
"Because they have funny costumes," Ellianna said.
Research also backs up the power of a positive attitude. A recent study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows optimism can help patients dealing with a wide range of conditions, from lower back pain to heart surgery.