Visitor's Guide :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Visitor's Guide

Our approach to family-centered care ensures that family members are considered part of the health care team. Your input is valued, as we recognize your child is a member of a unique family with varied values, needs, environments, culture, resources and strength.

Nationwide Children's became entirely smoke-free October 1, 2007. Please refer to the Smoking Policy below for more details.


With our patient’s in mind, please follow these visiting guidelines:

•    Parents and visitors must wear an ID badge at all times.
•    Parents can be with their child as much as they are able - 24 hours a day.  
•    Badges are available at the Welcome Desk in the main lobby (See hospital map).
•    When admitted, parents/guardians will be asked to create a Guest Code.
•    All visitors must have the Guest Code to enter to your child’s unit.
•    Visiting hours are from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. If you have a special visit request, please talk with your child’s nurse.
•    Please limit the number of visitors to your child’s room and please keep visits short.

All patients, their families and visitors will be treated with respect regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, education, illness, socioeconomic status, culture, language, disability, income, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Patient safety is always our top concern. Friends and family who have been around any contagious disease, like a cold or chicken pox should not visit. We know it is important for your child to see friends, siblings, and other family members but to stop the spread of illness like the flu, visiting hours may be limited to parents/guardians. Visitors under the age of 12 are usually not allowed to visit, but talk with your child’s nurse for more information.

A Note to Our Patients Over 18 years of Age. When you are admitted, you will create a Guest Code if you are able. Anyone visiting you will need your Guest Code to enter your unit. You have the right to choose a support person to be with you for emotional support during your stay in the hospital. A support person can be a spouse, domestic partner (including a same-sex domestic partner), another family member or a friend. You have the right to take away consent from your support person at any time. We will welcome your support person unless they are considered harmful to you or others.

Visitor Restrictions - Effective Nov. 27, 2017

To protect our patients during viral season, it is necessary to restrict inpatient visitors in all intensive care units, all neonatal units, H4A, H8A and Hematology/Oncology.

Beginning Monday, November 27 (through approximately mid-March), all visitors to these units must be healthy and 12 years of age and older. This includes siblings.

Patients/parents in these units will be asked to identify up to four additional people, 12 years of age and older, they wish to visit during their stay.

The four names given will be listed in the patient’s medical record. Only visitors with their name listed will be able to visit the patient for the duration of visitor restrictions.

Learn more or view a video explaining visitor restrictions during viral season on our flu resources page.


Parents or legal guardians may call at any time to talk to a nurse about their child’s care or condition. Friends and family may call the hospital operator at (614) 722-2000 or the Information Desk at (614) 722-2001 to leave a message for a patient or family between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Messages will be delivered to patient rooms. Children’s Hospital cannot provide information about the patient’s condition to anyone other than parents and legal guardians.

For the protection of our patients, callers from outside the hospital who wish to speak in detail about a patient’s condition will be required to provide the patient’s Care Code.

Learn more about our Guest Code and Care Code policies.


Cards, letters, flowers and other gifts are welcomed. There are limits on some units however so please check with the patient or their parents on any restrictions. Latex (rubber) balloons are not allowed in the hospital, as they are unsafe for children. Mylar balloons are acceptable.

Mail to patients should be addressed as follows:
Child’s Full Name
Room Number
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
700 Children’s Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43205

Also available is our online greeting card service. This service makes it easy for family and friends to brighten up their loved one's room, not to mention his or her spirits, with a free personalized greeting card. Just follow a few simple steps to customize a card. Once submitted, it will be e-mailed directly to Children’s print shop. Once each morning, a hospital volunteer will hand deliver the card to the patient's room. It's simple and fun, and most importantly, loved ones can express just how much they care. Cards will be printed once a day, Monday through Friday, at 9 a.m. Card delivery cannot be guaranteed without the patient's full name. If the patient has been discharged, please provide a forwarding address and the card will be mailed to the recipient.

Cards are printed once a day at 7:30am, Monday through Friday.  Any e-cards submitted after 7:30am will not be delivered until the following business day. Please contact Allison Yoakam at (614)355-0502 at the Print Shop for questions about printing.

Children’s also has an online gift shop. Gifts are conveniently categorized by age, with special items that can be ordered for hospitalized patients – including balloons and flowers that will be delivered the same day (if ordered by 2 p.m., Monday through Friday). Children’s logo wear items also are available. Customers can even request items be shipped to any destination.


Nationwide Children's Hospital also provides a variety of gift card options for patients, families and visitors to the hospital. The three options of gift cards include family gift cards, kaleidoscope cuisine cards, and $5.00 gift cards.

To contribute for a family, call Cathy Ray, Gift Shop Manager at (614) 722-9247 or Kristin Hanes, Nutrition Services Manager at (614) 722-1504, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Simply provide the patient’s name and your credit card number along with the amount you wish to contribute. All credit card information will be kept secure and a receipt is available upon request.


Nationwide Children’s has two ATMs:

  1. Located on the Orange Path near Clementine's Cafe
  2. Located in the vending area outside the Cafeteria on the lower level

Huntington customers are not charged a fee for cash withdrawals. Non-Huntington customers will be charged a $1.50 fee for each cash withdrawal. Stamp dispensing machines also are available next to the ATM machines. A change machine can be found in the Outpatient Care Center lobby. The machine will break $10 and $20 bills to $5 bills.


Located on the lower level of the Hospital, the Cafeteria offers patients, families, visitors and staff a wide variety of food offerings at all hours of the day. Each day a special Chef's Cuisine entree, salads, sandwiches, pizza and other grab and go items are offered. Seating is provided in the spacious dining room as well as the outdoor courtyard, weather permitting.

Cafeteria hours:

Early Bird

1:30 a.m. – 4:30 a.m.


6 a.m. – 10 a.m.


11 a.m. – 2 p.m.


4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Monday – Friday)

4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Saturday – Sunday & Holidays)

Complete vending areas are located near the Cafeteria and beside Clementine’s Café. These areas are open 24 hours a day.

Food Court
The hospital also has a food court located in the lower level of the Education building (see the hospital map for locations of all food service areas). The food court offers several varieties of salads, wraps, hot sandwiches and beverages daily. There is also a Subway located in this area.

Food Court is open:
Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Closed Weekends & Holidays

Subway is open:
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Mark Pi's Koko is open:
Monday - Friday: 10:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays

Clementine’s Cafe
Please visit our espresso bar, Clementine’s Cafe, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is located on the first floor of the Outpatient Care Center near one of the ATM machines. Clementine's also has sandwiches, salads, wraps and pizza.

Magic Bean Cafe
Located on the Blue Path near the Magic Forest, the Magic Bean Cafe is an espresso bar that also offers grab and go items and soft serve frozen yogurt treats.

Panera Bread
Located at 611 E. Livingston Ave. across from the main hospital, Panera Bread is a full-service bakery-café with breakfast, lunch and dinner options including hot soups, fresh salads, sandwiches on freshly-baked bread, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, pastries, cookies and coffee. Open Monday-Saturday 6 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m.-8 p.m.


Who will be affected by this policy?

  • The healthy beverage changes apply to all patients, families, visitors and staff.

Why is the hospital making these changes?

  • To promote the health and well-being of our patients, families and staff, we will not sell or offer sugar-sweetened beverages that have no nutritional value. As one of the nation’s leading pediatric health care and research institutes, we are committed to addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity and creating and supporting a healthy work environment for employees.

What areas are affected?

  • The cafeteria, food court, Koko’s, Subway, gift shops, patient food service, catering, on- and off-site vending machines, and Jerzy’s are all affected.

Are high-calorie coffee drinks still offered at Clementine's Café and can I still get sugar for my coffee?

  • Yes, sugar is available for coffee. The hospital made some minor changes to beverages sold at Clementine’s Cafe, for example, a few of the highest-calorie drinks were eliminated and the extra-large cup size is no longer available.

What types of beverages are available under this new policy?

  • Water, milk, pure fruit juices and diet sodas are all healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened drinks. The hospital expanded the selection of these beverages.

What if I still want a regular soda or other sugar-sweetened drink?

  • Employees, patients and families are able to bring in their own sugar-sweetened beverages, but the hospital will not offer or sell those beverages.

What if a patient needs regular soda for a medical reason?

  • Regular Coke and Sprite will be available for patients who meet certain criteria. The hospital’s nurses and physicians will be able to assist with obtaining these items.


There is a visitor parking garage and parking lots around the hospital for your use.

There will be a graduated parking fee for the visitor parking garages. Tickets will be issued at the entrances that will calculate the time a vehicle spends in a garage. These tickets will determine each visitor’s parking fee. If you take your ticket inside the hospital, you have the option to pay your parking fee as you are exiting the buildings by using the various “pay-on-foot” stations inside the hospital. You can also pay from your vehicle at the “pay-in-lane” stations as you exit.

Click here for detailed maps, directions and parking information.

Vehicle security
Always make sure your vehicle is locked. Do not leave cash or valuable items in view in your vehicle. These items should be locked in the trunk, removed from the vehicle or hidden. At night, select the most well-lit and most visible parking spaces.

Security officers will take you to your vehicle if you wish. Go to any of the main doors and call (614) 722-2128. A security officer will meet you at the door. Security is also happy to escort you from the parking lots into the hospital. If you have a cell phone, call (614) 722-2128. If not, drive to the Emergency Department area and ask Security to meet you in one of the parking lots.


In an effort to keep patients, families, visitors and employees in the healthiest of environments, smoking and the use of tobacco products are not prohibited on any Nationwide Children’s Hospital property – indoors and outdoors – including garages and parking lots.


Children are placed in isolation for two reasons: Their resistance to infection is low and they need extra protection; or they have a contagious illness and other people must be protected. An isolation sign should not be cause for alarm. It is simply a measure taken to protect your child and others against the spread of infection. If your child is placed in isolation, please check with the nurse in charge of your child’s care for instructions.


Upon arrival to the hospital, visitors will check in at a Welcome Desk. Welcome Desks are located in the lobby of Outpatient Care (building next to Outpatient Care Parking Garage), at the Urgent Care Parking Lot entrance, at the Crossroads Library and in the main hospital Atrium. In order to visit a patient, visitors will need to share the Guest Code and obtain a visitor badge at the desk. Learn more about our Guest Code and Care Code policies.

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000