700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Mask and Visitor Guidelines in Place to Help Keep Everyone Safe

Apr 01, 2024
cold and flu season

Sometimes it is necessary for Nationwide Children’s to take extra precautions to protect the health of patients, their visitors and staff. Here’s what to expect when our visitor restrictions are in place.


All visitors and patients older than two will be required to wear a medical mask throughout your visit. This is to help slow the spread of the virus in public settings and because some people do not have any symptoms but can still transmit the virus to others.

  • Medical masks include hospital-provided masks, surgical masks and N95 masks (without exhalation valve)
  • Cloth masks, scarves or bandanas cannot be used inside Nationwide Children’s facilities, since stronger protections are required for a health care setting. They are acceptable for other, non-health care public areas.

Outpatient Services

At this time only one adult visitor may accompany your child. Any additional adult visitors and children or siblings not receiving care will not be permitted onsite and are not permitted to wait in our lobby. This is in order to minimize the number of people onsite at any given time and to ensure social distancing in our waiting areas.

Children who are being seen at our Urgent Care centers or Emergency Departments may have two visitors.

Inpatient Care

  • Parents/guardians of minors and patients 18 years of age and over will be asked to identify two visitors. Parents are included in the total of two people.
  • If one or both parents cannot be present they can choose an alternative adult. It does not matter what the relationship is to the patient (grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, clergy or support person, etc.). The two names given will be listed in the patient’s medical record. Only the two visitors listed will be able to visit the patient for the duration of visitor guidelines. The two visitors cannot be changed.
  • Visitors under 18 years of age will not be able to access the unit, including the waiting rooms, playrooms and family lounges.

We know visitor guidelines can make it hard for families to keep in touch with patients staying at Nationwide Children’s, but there are ways to keep in touch:

  1. Send an eCard! These get delivered directly to our patients.
  2. Patients can borrow Skype units from the Family Resource Center – plan a time to talk!
  3. Visitors can call the Gift Shop and purchase a Family Gift Card to be delivered to patients.
  4. Inpatients at our main campus location have access to the Internet through our Patient Edutainment system, so siblings, family and friends can use social media to stay in touch!

Our number one priority is to make sure children in our careavoid exposure to the illnesses circulating in the community. Your questions and feedback are important to us. Please do not hesitate to speak with your care team about these visitor guidelines.

Featured Expert

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional
Matthew Washam, MD, MPH
Infectious Diseases

Matthew C. Washam, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and member of the Section of Infectious Diseases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Washam’s research interests include understanding the risk factors for transmission of multidrug-resistant bacteria in children within the hospital environment.

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Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.