Your Hospital Stay

Patient ID Cards

Patients and guardians of children who have been admitted to Boston Children's Hospital are welcome 24 hours a day. Other visitors are welcome from noon to 8 p.m. every day. Visitation is sometimes restricted when Children's is trying to limit the spread of illnesses like the seasonal flu or H1N1 (swine flu).

Parents are given special hospital identification badges so staff can easily recognize them. All parents and guardians of inpatients are required to wear an ID badge at all times while at the hospital. Please call Access Control at 617-355-6251 with any questions or concerns.

  • When patients are admitted, parents/guardians are issued a yellow photo identification badge. Badges are given out at the front desk in the Main Lobby between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. After 4 p.m., a temporary paper badge will be issued by the Information Desk staff until the next morning.
  • To receive an ID badge, parents must provide a picture ID and a stamped copy of their child's hospital card.
  • Only two parent ID badges are issued per patient. In special cases, additional badges may be issued, but only if first discussed with the unit nurse.
  • Badges must be returned to your child's nurse at the time of discharge.

Tips for your stay

Daily routines

  • Continue to follow the rules you use at home. What is not allowed at home should not be allowed in the hospital.
  • Try to follow your child's usual daily schedules and routines. For example, if your child naps at home, plan a naptime in the hospital. If your child is an infant, continue to take an active role in her care, such as by holding and rocking her like you would at home.
  • Consistency of routine helps children feels less scared and anxious about being in the hospital.
  • Make time for yourself. Take time for coffee breaks and to eat meals. 

Understanding the hospital

  • Talk with your child every day to find out what she understands about what's happening at the hospital and with her care and treatment. This will help clear up any questions or confusion about the hospital.
  • Encourage your child to ask the nurses and doctors questions. If your child is not able to do this, write down the questions and ask them yourself in your child's presence. 

Adjusting to new surroundings

  • There are playrooms on each inpatient floor where your child can go to play games, do some coloring or other crafts, watch a movie or just relax. Every playroom is a procedure-free zone where nothing medical can happen (like having blood taken) to your child while she is in a playroom.
  • Give your child a choice whenever possible. For example, ask, "Do you want to take your medicine with juice or water?"
  • Plan something to look forward to during the day, for example, time in the playroom, watching a favorite video or a trip to the gift cart.
  • Make your child's space personal. Hang up family photos or your child's drawings. You may want to bring your child's favorite pillow, blanket or toy to the hospital.
  • Encourage your child to express her feelings. Your child may do this through playing, talking or drawing.
  • Ask your nurse if it’s possible to explore other areas of the hospital like the lobby, garden, cafeteria or chapel.
  • Ask the Child Life specialist to help you create a calendar to keep track of days and events in the hospital.
  • Plan time for friends and family to visit your child.