• Visiting Guidelines

    Outpatient Visits

    (Emergency, Urgent Care, Clinic, Day Surgery, Testing Visits)

    • Visitors who accompany a patient into the exam room may be limited by the size of the room or clinical care needs. Additional visitors may stay in the waiting room.
    • Only children seeking evaluation or treatment should be brought to outpatient appointments during peak times of illness in the community (i.e. flu/respiratory illness from December to March).

    Inpatient Visits

    We respect the right of parents/guardians and adult patients to identify who may visit.

    • Up to 4 primary support persons (i.e. parents, guardians, spouse) may receive 24-hour access. Up to two may stay overnight.
    • Up to 6 individuals (i.e. siblings, family members, friends) may be identified to visit.
    • Additional family and friends can share their support by making a video call, sending a free e-greeting card or old-fashion mail, following social media or by calling the Gift Shop or concierge service Best Upon Request.

    If the admission is longer than 30 days, you can work with your social worker to substitute names on your visitor list. Your social worker may also consider changes if you initially identify those unable to visit due to, for example, illness, or a special situation.

    Sleeping arrangements for those with 24-hour access vary from unit to unit. Rooms have a fold-out bed for at least one person. Please note: No one may sleep on the floor, as this poses a safety risk to you, your loved one and our staff. For help making sleeping arrangements outside of the hospital, please contact Guest Services at 513-636-5009 or toll-free at 888-894-1374 for information about lodging at discounted rates.

    Visiting hours are 8:30 am–8:30 pm.

    Visitors must:

    • Check in at a Welcome Desk upon arrival for a photo name badge. Visitors age 16 or older will be asked to show a photo ID.
    • Be healthy—free from fever, cough or colds, or stomach virus symptoms and living with persons who are also healthy. Visitors can unintentionally spread germs if someone in their household is ill.
    • Wash their hands often, especially before and after visiting a patient. During peak times of illness in the community, young children (under age 14) are requested not to visit the intensive care units.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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    Families reported confusion about and frustration with our Visitor Restrictions during flu/RSV season. Hospital staff reported challenges communicating and enforcing visitor restrictions. Additionally, variations in the visitor limits across different areas of the hospital compounded all of these challenges. Our Family Advisory Councils (Burnet and Liberty councils) recommended that we develop a year-round visitation practice that balances patient/family needs for emotional support from friends and family with the infection prevention benefits of decreased patient exposure to germs in the community from visitors.

    Yes. From Dec. 2014 to March 2015 (Visitor Restrictions), patients in our critical care units (Location B), who had their visitors limited to 4 for the entire admission, had a rate of 0.5 hospital acquired respiratory infections per 1000 patient days. Patients in Location A, who had no limit to the visitors on their lists, had a rate of 1.75 hospital acquired respiratory infections per 1000 patient days. Patients with unlimited visitors were at 3.5 times higher risk of having a hospital acquired respiratory illness than patients with limited visitors.
    • The visitor list is limited to a maximum of 10 different people, who remain the same throughout the patient’s admission. In doing this, we decrease each patient’s exposure to germs that can make it harder to recover and go home. Our previous policy allowed exposure to an unlimited number of visitors.
    • Primary Support People now refers to up to 4 individuals, 18 years of age or older, who are legally and/or practically responsible for taking care of the patient. They are allowed 24/7 access to the patient. This broader definition is more respectful of adult patients and today’s varied family structures.
    • Up to 4 primary support people can be identified. Primary support people will have 24/7 access but only 2 will be able to stay the night at one time. On some units there are accommodations for only one.
    • Up to 6 visitors can be identified by the primary support people and will be on the Friends and Family list. These visitors include siblings, family and friends. These are the only 6 people who can visit the patient during his/her admission.
    • If patients are here longer than 30 days, the names on the visitor list can be changed.
    • Social workers will be the members of the care team to work with families who may have extreme and extenuating circumstances that may permit an exception.
    • Social workers will consult with families, care teams, Infection Control and Family Relations to obtain the information they need to make consistent decisions regarding exceptions.
    • Patients/families coping with end-of-life situations will be addressed independently by Pastoral Care, with additional input from social work, the care team and Family Relations.

    Family and friends not on the list can share their support virtually:

    • Video calls using FaceTime, Skype, etc.
    • Sending a free e-greeting card or old-fashion mail
    • Following social media
    • Calling the Gift Shop or our concierge service, Best Upon Request, to order and deliver a surprise
    • Phone orders may be placed using Visa, MasterCard or Discover
      Gift Shop: 513-636-4310
      Best Upon Request: 513-803-4871

    In addition, family and friends not listed are encouraged to meet caregivers in the Family Resource Center (FRC) or cafeteria. 

    Exceptions can be made for community clergy. Families should contact our on-call chaplain who can process and approve the community clergy to visit. Approved community clergy do not take a spot on the patients’ Family and Friends list.

  • Do You Have Your ID?

    Visiting Policies.

    Cincinnati Children’s now asks for identification when obtaining the access card and/or visiting ID sticker needed to go beyond the first level of the Location A or B buildings.


  • Safer from Germs, Supported by Family and Friends

    Cincinnati Children’s year-round visitor policy balances the need for support from family and friends and limits exposure to germs, so you or your loved one can be well again.

    We welcome visits by the individuals you designate as family and friends and do not restrict or deny visitation based on race, color, nationality, origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or disability.

    Questions about the visitor guidelines? Please ask your social worker.