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Your Visit | Overview

If you are a parent or guardian, you can visit your child at any time. Your child's grandparents can also visit any time.

Other family members and friends can visit during our regular visiting hours, from noon to 8 p.m. We may limit the number of visitors by your child's bedside.

All visitors must stop at the information desk in the main lobby at Boston Children's and identify themselves and the patient they are visiting. An adult must supervise all children visiting a patient at all times. Children 12 years and younger will get a sticker that allows them to come up to the unit to visit the patient.

How do I get a visitor ID to visit my child/relative?

Parents/guardians/grandparents: You will receive a yellow photo identification (ID) badge, which distinguishes parents and guardians from other hospital visitors. Only parents/guardians/grandparents are allowed to be in the hospital after 8 p.m.

Parent ID 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., parents will be issued a temporary paper ID until the next day.

Information on our parents ID system is available at the information desk in the Boston Children's main lobby.

Other adults: Friends and family members who are suffering from, or have been exposed to, any contagious diseases, such as a cold or chickenpox, should not visit the hospital. If friends and family members are healthy, they must check-in at the information desk in the main lobby at Boston Children's and identify themselves and the patient they are visiting.

Children/siblings: Visitors under age 12 must be screened for exposure to any known contagious diseases, such as chickenpox or measles. Visiting children will be given a dinosaur sticker to be worn at all times when they are in the hospital to show they have been screened.

Do I have to wear a gown when I visit my child?

Some patients at Boston Children's need special protection from germs. Some patients have germs that others can catch.

In these cases, staff and visitors may have to wear gowns, and sometimes masks, and pay special attention to hand washing. This is called "precautions."

To prevent the spread of germs, we also ask that you do not touch any child but your own.

Your child's nurse will explain precautions to you. If you have questions, ask your child's nurse to explain.

What will my child's hospital room be like?

The charge nurse will assign your child to their hospital room based on their needs. There are times your child may be moved to another room — sometimes even in the middle of the night — as patients' needs on the unit change.

Each bedside space has accommodations for one adult family member to sleep at night. Please place your chair in a position that gives nurses and doctors enough room to care for your child. There are sheets, pillowcases, and towels provided on linen carts on each unit.

Please do not sleep or sit on any empty hospital beds. We keep these beds ready at all times.

If you need to leave your child's bedside, even if just for a moment, please raise the rails of the crib or bed completely to keep your child safe.

Vital signs are routinely taken every four hours at the doctor and nurse's discretion.

Can I stay overnight with my child?

Yes, you can stay overnight with your child. Only one parent can stay overnight, however.

Chairs in most patient rooms fold out into cots. There are bathrooms in each patient room for parents to use, and there are lockers and safes where you can secure valuables.

How do I contact a nurse during an emergency?

The call light is attached to the hospital bed on the TV control box. If you or your child needs a nurse, press the button labeled "nurse." The unit secretary will answer your call through an intercom system.

If you have an emergency, press the red staff emergency/staff assist button on the wall. The button is only to be used in an emergency.

How can I contact my child's nurse when I am not at the hospital?

Please call 617-355-8700 to speak with your child's nurse.

Are there telephones in the rooms?

Each bed space has a telephone number. To use the phone, dial 0 + 1 + area code + telephone number. You may need to charge calls if outside the local area. You can charge outgoing calls to your home phone or a phone credit card, or make a collect call. The phone company charges extra for all outgoing calls, including local calls. There is no charge for incoming calls.

Pay phones are near the elevators, and a TTY Teletype is also available. Please ask your nurse to request one for you.

There are no phone calls in or out of your child's room after 10 p.m. Cell phones are only allowed by the elevators away from the medical equipment.

Are there televisions in the rooms?

There are televisions and DVD players by the bedside. If you need a caption decoder, please contact your nurse. There is no TV charge.

Where can I find a restroom?

The toilet in your child's room is for patient use, however family members can use it if the patient is not using it. We have additional restrooms with bathing facilities located by the front desk/waiting room area.

Where can I store valuables?

Store personal items in the bedside cabinet or closet in your child's room. Never leave valuables, money, or jewelry unattended — even for a short time. Boston Children's is not responsible for your valuables.

There are lockers in the rooms where you can store some belongings. You may bring your own lock or rent one from the information and reception desk in the main lobby. Each lock requires a $3 deposit that will be refunded when the lock is returned.

Is there a kitchen?

The kitchen on 11 South is stocked with limited drinks and snacks for patients only. You may store labeled food in the refrigerator here.

Are appliances permitted?

Boston Children's Engineering does not allow the use of any electric appliance brought from home. This includes televisions, radios, and hairdryers.

What is the activity room?

Patients of all ages are welcome in the activity room, which is open Monday through Friday during the stay. If your child is unable to leave his/her room, a child life specialist can also find activities for him/her to do in his/her room. If you would like to view a video, for example, please contact the child life specialist or the secretary at the front desk.

What is the patient and family resource room?

Our resource room is a gathering place for patients and family members.

  • Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.
  • Location: Hallway between 9 North and 9 West of the main building.

Some of the many resources include:

  • Three computers with Internet access for families to check email, research information, or simply browse the web.
  • Materials available to borrow: Disease-specific books, leisure reading material, magazines, DVDs, children's books, and board games.
  • Items for use in the resource room: Sony Playstation and Nintendo Wii are available.
  • A fax machine is available for parent or family use.
How do we get mail and email at Boston Children's?

Mail can be sent to your child. The address is: (Child's name), Unit name, Boston Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115.

Patients can also receive e-mail at Have the sender put your child's name in the subject line of the email.

Are there laundry facilities at Boston Children's?

Laundry machines are located on the first floor of the Farley Building. Coin-operated washing machines, dryers, and soap vending machines are available for parents to use.