OSF Children's Hospital

Inpatient Visiting Guidelines

Our staff understands the love and support from family and friends are essential to helping your child adjust to being in the hospital. Even so, we need you to follow the hospital’s visiting guidelines to protect the health and the safety of your child and all patients.

Parents or primary caregivers may stay with their children 24 hours a day, because they are not considered visitors. 

  • A patient has the right to receive visitors. The patients and parent/legal guardian will be asked to provide a list of approved visitors to the concierge.
  • The patient and parent/legal guardian have the right to deny visitors at any time.
  • The unit and care team may set a limit to the number of visitors at their discretion.
  • All visitors and parents must wear their badge at all times while on the unit. 
  • All visitors must have their name on the visitor list in  order to enter the unit. Visitors must show photo identification to receive a visitor’s badge to enter the unit.  
  • Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Children must complete a Health Screening Form. All visitors must be free from signs and symptoms of contagious illnesses such as fever cough colds, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.
  • While there are no set visiting hours, there may be times when OSF Children’s Hospital staff have an obligation to limit visiting for medical safety or patient well-being including the well-being of other patients on the unit.
  • Patients, family and visitors should be considerate of others by limiting the volume of voices or other types of noise to maintain a healing environment for all patients. 
  • Many patients have weak immune systems. Visitors should not enter the hospital if they are sick or have been exposed to illnesses that are easy to spread (contagious). 
  • Please follow all posted guidelines for using masks, gowns and gloves. 
  • Clean your hands each time you enter or leave a patient room. 
  • The number of parents and other visitors must be limited to three for the Hematology-Oncology Inpatient Unit and two in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU),
  • Many patients make friends while inpatient, however, for the health of each patient, inpatients should not visit other inpatient rooms. Also, outpatients should not visit the inpatient units. 
  • Only one caregiver at a time may stay overnight in the inpatient room. For your child’s safety and your comfort, you may not sleep on the floor. 
  • Friends and family members 12 years old and older may visit your child. Please talk to your doctor or nurse if you think it is important for someone younger than 12 to be with your child. Before younger children can visit your child, they must be screened for illness. 

Vaccination Guidelines

The Jim and Trudy Maloof St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois follows national vaccination guidelines, including those recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Infectious Disease Society of America and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and supports vaccination for vaccine-preventable diseases, including the seasonal flu. Vaccinations protect people from highly contagious diseases and serious infections that could cause life-threatening problems.

Children with cancer are immune suppressed from their underlying disease or cancer treatments. As a result, it is difficult for them to fight infections, even if they had up-to-date vaccinations prior to their cancer diagnosis. Immunosuppressed children may not be able to receive certain live, attenuated virus vaccines, such as oral polio, smallpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), chickenpox, rotavirus and nasal flu (influenza) vaccines, while receiving cancer treatment. For these reasons, it becomes even more important that siblings and adults who live with a childhood cancer patient are vaccinated following pediatric and adult vaccination schedules to minimize the chances of exposing the immune suppressed child to a vaccine-preventable disease. It is safe and important for household contacts to receive the MMR vaccine as per the national vaccination guidelines.

For an immune suppressed child, the risk of infection from a live, attenuated virus vaccine is small compared to the risk of infection from exposure to someone with a vaccine-preventable disease. It is still recommended for your immune suppressed child:

  • To avoid contact with a person who has a rash after recently receiving the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine.
  • To avoid contact with a person who has received an intranasal flu vaccine within one week. This applies only if your child is severely immune suppressed such as in the hospital after a recent bone marrow transplant. There is no similar risk with the inactivated, injectable flu vaccine.
  • If a household contact (infant) has recently received rotavirus vaccination, all family members should wash hands thoroughly and frequently after contact with the vaccinated infant, especially when changing diapers.
  • Household contacts not receive the oral polio vaccine. Note that the oral polio vaccine is not used in the United States

In addition to ensuring siblings and family members are vaccinated, St. Jude recommends its patients avoid exposures to adults and children with suspected or proven infectious illnesses; for example, those with fever, rash, cough, runny nose and diarrhea.   

Consult your child’s health care team for any related question that you have.