By Hallie Ager, PT
It’s that time of year again – time for the ghosts and goblins to fill the streets and for loads of candy to be handed out! While this is an exciting time for children, it can also be a time of stress and worry for some families, especially for those with children who have disabilities or require adaptive equipment. Today, we want to ease some of that stress by providing some tips on functional mobility and adaptations to allow for a successful evening of trick-or-treating.
Is walking a particular challenge for your child? When heading, out choose an adaptive bicycle, tricycle, or wagon to assist your child in going from house to house. This can even be incorporated in your child’s costume! We encourage you to provide your child with opportunities to walk to the front door to trick-or-treat when possible.
If your child has difficulty grasping a handle, choose a cross-body bag for candy. If they use a wheelchair or walker, opt to hang a bag or bucket from the equipment to collect goodies.
Does your child have difficulty speaking? Stickers, signs, and adaptive communication devices are useful tools that can enable your child to communicate what their costume is and “trick or treat.” You may also plan for your child to go with friends or siblings who can help with communication.
If your child is not able to eat candy, we encourage parents to drop off a small toy with an explanatory note to homes they will be visiting. This allows your child to still participate while avoiding candy. Remember – it doesn’t have to be about the sweets! Another great way for your child to join in the fun this Halloween is to decorate your front door, turn on your light, and have your child help with handing out goodies or scaring trick-or-treaters. Get creative and have fun!
Don’t forget your flashlight or other source of light when out after dark. Also, decorating your child’s equipment or wheelchair with glow sticks, glow in the dark stickers, or battery operated twinkle lights and/or using light up bags for candy can help ensure that people see you coming.
We hope these tips help your child and family enjoy this Halloween. Happy Trick-or-Treating from your friends at Aveanna!