• Visiting


    Winter Visitor Restrictions

    Cincinnati Children's is currently in a Winter Visitor Restrictions period. In addition to the regular visitor rules found below, further visitor restrictions are now in place, including:

    • All VISITORS should be healthy – free from fever, cough, or colds or stomach virus symptoms
    • Only parents or guardians should visit in our critical care areas.
      • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
      • Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
      • Newborn Intensive Care Unit
    • Limited visitation in critical care areas by parent-designated other individuals must be arranged in advance (with the critical care staff or leadership)
    • Children in waiting areas must be supervised at all times.
    • In general, only children seeking evaluation or treatment at Cincinnati Children’s should be brought to the facility.


    Visiting Hours and Rules

    • Parents, guardians and designees may stay with their child 24 hours a day.
    • Visitors must first be approved by the parent or guardian. Visiting hours are 8:30 am to 8:30 pm.
    • Parents and visitors must wear an ID badge at all times and must return it to the customer service representative (CSR) in the PICU waiting room at the end of the visit.
    • There may be only two to three persons at the bedside during regular visiting hours.
    • Two parents or guardians may stay at the hospital after visiting hours. There is room for one to sleep at the bedside. See the “Overnight Stays” section below for information on other options.
    • Parents and guardians must remain in their child’s room for confidentiality and infection control reasons. You cannot visit other patient rooms or stand in the patient hallway.
    • Sibling visits may be arranged with your child’s charge nurse for children under 14 years of age. These visits are limited to five to 15 minutes a day.
    • Sibling overnight visits are not permitted.
    • If your child is in isolation, no sibling visits will be permitted.
    • Sibling visits may be canceled during times of increased infection in the community as determined by the hospital’s infection control department.
  • Visiting Information

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    Time with Your Child

    Although you may feel that you need to be at the bedside every minute, the amount of time you spend with your child in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) will depend on many things. These may include your child’s age and type of illness, the needs of other children and family members, your work schedule and other demands on your time and the need to take care of your own health.

    There may be times when we ask you to step out of the unit temporarily for procedures or emergency situations. You may return as soon as the circumstances allow. You may choose to leave the room during any procedure that makes you uncomfortable.

    Your Child Needs Rest

    Critically ill children need to rest as much as possible. Your child probably will sleep much more than he does at home. Please help keep your child’s room a quiet, restful place.

    Sibling Visits

    Visits by brothers and sisters ages 4 to 14 can be made by special arrangement and should last no more than 15 minutes. Please notify your nurse in advance when you are planning to bring your child’s siblings so your nurse can schedule time with the Child Life specialist. We try to provide an opportunity for siblings to meet with a Child Life specialist to make sure they understand what they see in the PICU and have a chance to ask questions or talk about things that upset them.

    Siblings must be supervised at all times and must be as quiet as possible. There may be some times when no sibling visits  are allowed. For example, in winter, when many children in the community have colds and respiratory infections, we may cancel all sibling visits.

    See Friends in the Waiting Room

    Each person entering the room can bring new germs into contact with your child. Visitors outside the immediate family should be here only because your child needs to see them, not because they want to see your child. Your friends may want to come to support you. Whenever possible, meet them in the waiting room rather than your child’s room.

    Please do not go into the rooms of other children on the floor. If you want to talk with family and friends of other patients, please meet in the waiting room.

    Information About Your Child’s Condition

    Hospital staff will discuss your child’s condition only with parents or legal guardians. These discussions may be in person or on the phone. Friends and relatives should contact you for information.

    You may want to designate a member of your family to be the contact person. You can share information with your designee, who can make or take phone calls from everyone else. This will limit the time you spend on the phone to only the calls you wish to make.

    If you give out the phone number in your child’s room, understand that the nurses cannot answer these calls.

    Safety Overnight

    Only two parents or guardians may be in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) after 8:30 pm. There’s room for one person to sleep in the room.

    We have special safety policies for the protection of everyone in the hospital overnight. Parents and guardians staying overnight are given an ID bracelet to wear. Entrances to most buildings are locked, and access to patient floors is limited.

    Getting the Sleep You Need

    We encourage families to sleep during the night. Remember, your health is important, too. In addition to the sleep chair in your child’s room, we have seven parent sleep rooms. Below are guidelines for using these rooms. Your child’s nurse can give you more details.

    • Only two parents or guardians per child can stay in the hospital overnight. Others will need to go home or may request a room at the Ronald McDonald House, 513-636-7642.
    • We cannot guarantee a sleep room to any family.
    • Sleep rooms are assigned first come, first served, according to these priorities:
      1. Parents of newly admitted children 
      2. Parents who have been here and were not assigned a room the night before
      3. Parents who were assigned a room the night before
    • Room keys are given out at 6 pm for six of the sleep rooms. The last room is reserved until 11 pm for late admissions, then assigned as usual. Only one room will be assigned per family.
    • Parents who have a room at the Ronald McDonald House will be assigned a hospital sleep room only if there are vacancies after 11 pm.
    • Room keys must be returned to the receptionist by noon the next day. At that time, parents can sign up for the next night.
    • Rooms are cleaned between 1-3 pm.
    • Children under age 18 may not spend the night in the hospital.

    You will want to cheer up your child while she is staying in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and friends also want you to know they are thinking of you. Good ideas for gifts and decorations include:

    • Stuffed animals (two or three): Your child’s favorites may be more comforting than new ones.
    • Mylar balloons (two or three): Latex balloons are not permitted in the hospital.
    • Artificial flowers: Plants and cut flowers are not permitted in the PICU because they can carry germs.
    • Favorite videos and DVD's
    • Pictures of family, pets and other favorite things

    Cell phones are permitted in the PICU. Follow the information below:

    • Phones should be set to vibrate or to the lowest possible volume.
    • Phone conversations should be conducted in a secluded or private area.
    • Cell phones, as well as other wireless devices, should never be placed on top of or next to medical equipment.
    • Cell phone cameras should not be used in patient care or other non-public areas.

    Having a child in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a stressful time for parents and other family members. You are worried about your child and may find it difficult to leave, even for short periods of time. It is important, however, to take care of yourself so you can continue to support your child. He will need you to be rested and strong when you are transferred out of the intensive care area.

    Here are things you may want to do to take care of yourself:

    • Take turns staying in the room.
    • When your child is sleeping, take breaks to rest, sleep, take a shower, do laundry or spend time with family or friends in the waiting room.
    • Go off the floor for a meal.
    • Take a walk around the hospital grounds.
    • Spend time with other children at home or at the Ronald McDonald House.
  • Find Us

    Cincinnati Children's.

    The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is found in Location B of the Cincinnati Children's Main Campus.

    Use our maps and driving directions to find your way to the Cincinnati Children's and the PICU.

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