What to Do if Your Child is Sick on Halloween

There's still fun to be had, here's how to make the most of the evening

If your child is too sick on Halloween to trick or treat, find other activities for her.
Is your tween sick on Halloween? Put her in charge of decorating or special effects, and she'll still have fun.

Children look forward to Halloween all year long and tweens are especially excited about the annual event. Unfortunately, every year some children come up sick on Halloween, and that can be a real let down for those who have been anxiously awaiting costume parties, trick-or-treating, and staying out late at night.

If your child ends up sick on Halloween night, it doesn't mean that he can't have a little fun.

Below are a few ways to include your child in the annual festivities. With a little luck, your tween will be able to participate in one or two of the suggestions.

Halloween Fun for Sick Children

  • Stay Home: If your child is contagious he really should stay home and postpone trick-or-treating until next year. That way you won't spread the germs around to everyone else (your neighbors will thank you). Let your child know that he'll have to stay home this year, but that you'll hang out together and find something fun to do. If he's too sick to have any fun, tell him that you'll plan a day when he's feeling better to do something fun and to enjoy a treat together.
  • Dress Up: If your tween isn't too sick and is up to it, go ahead and let him change into his Halloween costume. Getting dressed up may make your tween feel like he's still a part of the fun, and keep him in the Halloween mood. If your child is so sick that dressing up isn't an option, be sure to set his costume aside to wear next year.
    • Hand Out Candy: If your child isn't contagious, you could consider having him hand out candy or your other Halloween treats to the local trick-or-treaters. Dress him up, prop him in a chair with a bowl of candy and put him in charge of Halloween candy distribution.
    • Make Crafts: Break out the craft box, markers, construction paper and scissors and ask your tween to create Halloween themed decorations for the house and front door. Display them so trick-or-treaters will enjoy them, as well as your sick child and other family members. Or, have your child make crafts to give out to trick-or-treaters. Ideas can include homemade cards, little mini ghosts, or festive goody bags for the candy.
    • Handle Special Effects: Depending on how sick your tween is, he might be up to scaring the trick-or-treaters with ghost noises, howls or other special effects.
    • Watch Movies: If your tween is bound to the bed or family room couch, take the opportunity to watch a few Halloween movies together. Curl up together and make the most of the evening by enjoying a little down time with your sick tween.
    • Video Tape the Fun: Even a sick kid can hold a camera or a video camera. Consider having your child film the evening's events and when he's feeling better later, he can edit his footage and turn it into a movie to share with others.
    • Make Out a Christmas List: Missing Halloween can be upsetting, so if your child has to stay home you can help him deal with the disappointment by helping him concentrate on future fun. Allow your tween to make his Christmas gift list, or begin planning an upcoming birthday party. If it gets his mind off of what he's missing, it can make the disappointment a little easier to accept.

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