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Oct. 29, 2017 - Young patients to pick winners in hospital costume contest
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MOBILE, Ala. -- Celebrating Halloween is a big deal at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital. It's a day when physicians, nurses and scores of staff members go all out to entertain patients and their families, performing silly skits and musical numbers as part of a costume contest that brings smiles and lots of laughs.

After trick-or-treating through the halls earlier in the day, patients and caregivers are invited to a costume contest begins at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, in the hospital courtyard. Contestants will be judged by children who are pediatric patients. They accept bribes and seem to love the entertainment. Categories include Most Creative, Funniest, Best Group, Best Individual and Best Overall.

While the annual event is always a good time, it also has a more significant purpose. The contest is part of distraction therapy, a series of techniques used by the hospital’s Child Life staff and others as a way to bring some normalcy to the experience of being hospitalized -- and away from home and school -- for an illness.

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