• Your Child's Stay

    Thank you for choosing Cincinnati Children's for your child's care. We understand how difficult it is for the whole family when a child needs hospital care. We want to assure you the Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to offering the best and safest care, and to treating each family with respect and kindness. We'll do everything we can to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Your child will be cared for by a team of doctors, nurses and others who are experts in pediatrics. You are an important member of the team. We encourage you to share information, ask questions, and be as involved as possible in your child's care.

    Our Welcome Center staff can help you find your way and give you information about services within the hospital. Welcome Centers are located on our Burnet Campus near the main entrance to Location A, Location B and Location C. 

  • We’ll ask to see:

    • Your insurance or medical card
    • Completed physical exam form, if you received one from your child’s doctor
    • Proof of guardianship (for court-appointed guardians)
    • Your child’s medication record
    • All prescriptions or over-the counter medications your child takes, in their original bottles

    If your child is being admitted to the Burnet Campus, please go to the Admitting Department in Location A, first floor.

    If your child has recently been exposed to any contagious disease (such as chicken pox) or has a fever, bad cold, rash or fever blisters, call your doctor before you come to the hospital. Admission may have to wait until your child is feeling better.

    Patients age 18 or older who have the ability to make an informed decision have the right to make their own medical treatment decisions. You also have the right to draft an advance directive that gives instructions for healthcare in case you are no longer able to participate in treatment decisions. For more information or copies of advance directive forms:

    • Admitting, 513-636-4207
    • Social Services, 513-636-4711
    • Talk to your nurse or doctor

    If you or your doctor feels your child is not able to understand the risks and benefits of medical treatment and cannot make informed medical decisions, you must arrange for a legal guardian to be appointed for that purpose. To obtain legal guardianship for an adult child, parents must apply to the probate court in the county where the child lives. For more information, contact a lawyer or the probate court.

    You will find a phone, TV and a DVD player. We also offer free wireless internet service.

    Please let your family and friends know that they are welcome to visit from 8:30 am through 8:30 pm. Read more about our Visiting Policies.
    Family support is important to children in the hospital. Two parents, guardians or a parent designee (18 years of age or older) may stay overnight in most of our patient care units. Anyone planning to stay overnight must sign in with the health unit coordinator at the communication station on the unit.

    A sleep chair is available in most patient rooms. Parent showers and bathrooms are also available in most patient rooms or nearby on the unit.

    You can order room service for your child between 6:30 am and 10 pm. A child-friendly menu is located in your child’s room. Call 6-FOOD (3663) from the room to order. Halal and Kosher and healthy choice items are available. If you are not with your child, the nurse will help your child order. Our Nutrition Therapy staff will make sure that the order is consistent with your doctor’s instructions. Please tell your nurse or doctor if your child has any food allergies, or if your child needs special formulas or food. 

    Meal Cards

    Effective Oct. 6, family members can purchase meal cards for inpatient meal delivery from Best Upon Request in addition to buying them from the cafeteria. Best Upon Request has taken on this service for Guest Services, who will no longer sell and deliver the cards.

    Cards cost $6. Each card is good for one entrée, two sides, one dessert and a drink.

    How to purchase

    Families can purchase cards from the cafeteria 24 hours per day, seven days a week, or from Best Upon Request in Location D1. Desk hours for Best Upon Request are Monday through Friday, 7:30 to 8:30 am, 11 am to 12:30 pm, and 3:30 to 4:30 pm. Families may also contact Best Upon Request at 513-803-4871 or concierge@cchmc.org or buy cards when representatives make rounds on various units.

    Ordering a meal

    To order food, families should dial the number on the card and order from the in-room menu. Food Services will deliver the order to the patient’s room.

    Returning extra meal cards

    Refunds require a receipt and must be returned to the site of purchase. If purchased at the cafeteria (or previously through Guest Services), the meal card can only be refunded by the cafeteria.


    Families also are welcome to eat in the cafeteria, Location D, where you’ll find many options, including comfort food, fresh soups, a large salad bar, deli sandwiches, pizza, chili, and specialty items that change daily.

    Guest Services can provide a list of restaurants that deliver to the hospital. Call them at 636-5009.

    Clean Hands Protect Everyone

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that US hospital patients get nearly 2 million infections each year. And did you know that 80 percent of germs are transferred via hands?  Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to protect your child and prevent the spread of infections.

    Partner with us to stop germs by cleaning your hands:

    • When entering and exiting the room
    • Before eating
    • After restroom use
    • After coughing or sneezing
    • When visibly dirty

    To clean your hands:

    • Wet with clean, running water.
    • Lather with soap all over, including between fingers and under nails.
    • Scrub for 15-20 seconds.
    • Rinse and dry with a clean towel.

    If soap and water are not available, use the alcohol-based, hand sanitizing wipes, foam or gel that you can find in many places around the hospital. Hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. They are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

    How do you use hand sanitizers?

    • Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
    • Rub your hands together.
    • Be sure to cover all surfaces of your hands and fingers until dry.

    Remind everyone who comes into your child’s room to clean their hands too—family visitors and friends. It’s even all right to ask your doctors and nurses.

    The Child Life School Program gives your child the opportunity to complete assignments and receive credit for attending school during the hospital stay. School services begin after the third day in the hospital and take place in a classroom or at the bedside for students confined to their rooms. We encourage you to bring your child’s books to the hospital. Contact a hospital teacher at 513-636-0571. Read more about Child Life programs.
    Child Life specialists, along with Child Life assistants, provide developmental, social and emotional support to patients of all ages. The goal is to help families and children understand their reactions to health care and to help them cope. Activity Centers, in Locations A and B, are run by Child Life staff and offer developmentally appropriate activities. Activities are also provided at bedside. Read more about Child Life program.
    CarePages is a free service that allows family and friends to stay in touch with you before, during and after your child’s hospitalization. Use CarePages to create and update a private, personal web page where you can share news and receive messages of support. Read more about setting up a CarePage.

    If you have a concern about the quality of care or a safety issue, please speak to your child’s nurse or doctor, or to the unit manager. Here are steps you can take if you have a concern or grievance that cannot be immediately addressed by your care team:

    Contact Family Relations to speak to a patient advocate

    Contact the Ohio Department of Health

    Contact The Joint Commission, the organization that accredits hospitals nationwide.

    Medicare beneficiaries have the right to request a review of their grievances by Ohio’s Quality Improvement Organization. Medicare patients may make this request through Family Relations or by calling the Ohio Medicare Beneficiary helpline at 1-800-589-7337 or www.ohiokepro.com.

    Read more about Your Rights and Responsibilities.