Pediatric NICU Welcome Guide

Pediatric NICU Welcome Guide


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Visiting the NICU

Who may visit your baby?

During the first few hours after admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, you will be asked to list who may visit your child and under what conditions they may visit. Until then, only legal guardians and grandparents will be allowed past the security doors. You may change this list at any time.

  • First - name a small number of adults. These are the primary support group. These people will have full access to your child’s room from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. They are intended to provide support for your child and breaks for you.
  • Second - identify a second group of extended family and friends. They may visit between the hours of 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Care should be taken that they not overstimulate the patient. Anyone in this group must be accompanied by someone in the primary support group when beyond the security doors.
  • Only people listed in one of the groups above will be allowed beyond the security doors. Anyone not on either of these lists will be allowed to remain in the CCS waiting room for no more than 30 minutes.
  • A maximum of three adults are allowed inside the security doors at any time.

Nursing shift change

Entry and exit of the care area is not allowed during nursing shift changes. This gives the highest protection to your child’s health information. Shift changes are from: 

  • 7:00 am to 7:30 am
  • 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm

For the safety of your child

  • All family members and friends must check in and out with the waiting room concierge (front desk staff).
  • ID badges are required for entry beyond the security doors and will be provided by the concierge.
  • The concierge will ask all visitors questions regarding potential contagious illnesses. You can help protect your child by not allowing anyone who has a fever, vomiting, diarrhea or symptoms of a cold to visit.
  • Visitors must provide a contact phone number to this concierge.
  • Sick and injured children are extremely at risk of infection. You must wash your hands thoroughly or use the hand gel provided before and after each visit.
  • Everyone, including staff, entering your child’s room should also either wash their hands or use the gel. Please remind anyone who forgets.
  • Children younger than 3 should not be brought to visit in the NICU. Children between 3 and 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times and may not be in the waiting room, even with adult supervision, for more than two (2) hours. Babysitting for visiting children is not available, so please make personal arrangements before coming to the hospital. It is difficult for children to sit quietly in the waiting area. Taking them for walks down to the lower level by the trains or outside will provide them with a break.
  • Up to two adults, either parents or primary support members, may be in the hospital between 9:00 pm and 7:00 am. These two individuals may sleep in the patient room or in the waiting room. Some of the patient rooms have a couch; however, there are recliners in the waiting room. We will provide linens for these two individuals. Please do not bring your personal linens.
  • For your benefit the waiting room lights will be turned off at approximately 10:00 pm.
  • The waiting room will be closed for approximately one hour daily for cleaning.

NICU etiquette

  • Please be courteous to others, and use behavior appropriate for a children’s hospital (Including language and dress).
  • Shoes must be worn at all times.
  • Personal communication devices such as cell phones, PDAs and laptop computers may not be used within three feet of any healthcare equipment. This is to avoid potential signal interference.
  • Personal phones/beepers must be set to silent or vibrate mode.
  • Water with a secured lid is allowed in the patient room.
  • For sanitation reasons, food and drinks are not allowed in the waiting room or patient room, but are allowed in the family lounge.
  • A limited number of lockers are available for your use. Individually sealed, uncooked food items may be stored in these lockers.
  • Please see the concierge if you need a locker or a list of local restaurants.

Unique needs

We recognize that every family is unique, and every day in the NICU is different. As special situations come up, the nurse caring for your child may adjust these guidelines. Please understand that her/his decision will be based not only on your situation, but that of the entire unit. If you have any concerns please discuss them with a team leader, who is available at all times.

Support Staff