HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s National Superhero Day at Connecticut Children’s, the state’s only health system dedicated exclusively to kids.

From touching Superman’s leg to simply observing. Seeing superheroes in real life generates varied reactions from kiddos like 7-year-old Armani, whose favorite superhero is the Black Panther.

“I just like how he runs fast,” Armani said.

“Kids like to be kids,” Katie Robbins, child life specialist said. “They want to play, and they want to celebrate and have the fun parts of being a kid, and we don’t miss out on those fun parts in the hospital.”

It’s not just these outside heroes spreading cheer to children fighting health battles, but staff like Robbins dress up and look forward to this day every year.

“My favorite part is the interactions that the superheroes get with the kids,” Robbins said. “It’s that light-up moment that they have. They maybe had a really hard week, maybe had some really rough treatment, maybe weren’t here expectedly, and they just didn’t plan to be here, and they get to have a little bright spot in their day.”

Some of the superhero fun had to get put on pause over the past two years, but it’s back for 2022: from activities to giveaway bags. All of it is made possible by donors and volunteers.

“It’s fun,” Marisa, 13, said. “I like it cause we have someone to talk to and something fun to do instead of just sitting here.”

But the real point is to remind these kids they are the true superheroes. A concept some of them already understand.

My favorite superhero is me!” Marisa said.