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How to Show Support for Loved Ones in the Hospital During the Winter Illness Season

Girl's hands glueing a card

by Savannah Sambrano, marketing and communications intern and gift shop clerk

As winter rolls around, the season of giving and gathering is upon us, and while receiving a shiny new gift can be exciting, one might not be as thrilled to become sick from those around them.  Considering many of the children receiving care at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego have extremely vulnerable immune systems, controlling the spread of potentially harmful illnesses is a primary concern. After reviewing scientific data concerning the rising rates of respiratory illnesses, influenza and other viruses in the Hospital and the surrounding community, the Rady Children’s Infection Control Department has taken action to limit the risk of transmission of these potentially contagious diseases throughout the Hospital. These are necessary in order to protect our patients and their families, staff, and other visitors.

During the winter respiratory season, all visitors who are not patient parents will be asked to abide by the following modified visitation policies for all inpatient units:

  • Visitors are welcomed between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Partners in care will be the only visitors allowed to visit patient rooms.
  • Visitors will be screened daily for contagious diseases and no sick visitors will be allowed to visit our patients. Parents who appear to be ill will be instructed on proper hand hygiene, cough etiquette and given a mask to wear, but will not be denied from visiting patient rooms.
  • Any visitors with flu-like symptoms or respiratory illness are kindly urged not to visit the Hospital.
  • All other healthy visitors who wish to provide support to parents and partners in care must wait in public areas on the first floor.

It can be difficult to have loved ones in the hospital at any time of year. The desire to provide in-person comfort is strong and understandable. However, the risk of unintentionally spreading illness is too great. Thankfully, there are still many ways to show your love and concern — writing a letter, drawing a picture, making a phone call or sending a gift!

Family members and friends who cannot visit in person but still wish to show their support for our patients and families are encouraged to use the Hospital gift shop, located in the Rose Pavilion lobby. Visitors may stop by and choose from a variety of toys, balloons, books and other gifts. Visitors may also call the gift shop at 858-966-8088 to place an order over the phone. The staff will assist with everything from selecting an appropriate and exciting gift, relaying a personalized message, and delivering the gifts to patient rooms. The gift shop is open 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. on weekends (holiday hours subject to change).

The winter respiratory season visitation program will remain in effect over the next several months until it becomes safe to lift these restrictions. We appreciate the support and cooperation in helping keep our patients, families and staff happy and healthy.