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UNC Hospitals Visitor Restrictions for Children Under 12 Years of Age

As the number of observed flu cases increases, to ensure the safety of our patients, children less than 12 years of age will be prohibited from visiting inpatients and inpatient waiting rooms at UNC Hospitals (including the Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and Wakebrook campuses, but excluding inpatient Hospice) and are prohibited from perioperative waiting rooms at UNC Hospitals and Hillsborough beginning Monday, January 6, 2020.  These restrictions were already in place for the Newborn Critical Care Center (NCCC), Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), 5 Children’s/Intermediate Care (5CH) and the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit (BMTU) at UNC Hospitals.  Thank you for sharing this important information with all of your patients receiving services at UNC, and especially your prenatal patients as they anticipate going to Labor and Delivery and the related inpatient units in Women’s Hospital for care. Children less than 12 years of age will not be allowed in those waiting area or in the patient rooms. This restriction does not apply to outpatient visits, but we encourage anyone who is not a patient and displays symptoms of illness to stay away from the hospital if possible. Attached are FAQs in English and Spanish. We acknowledge that this is disappointing news for many families. Thank you for providing guidance to our shared patients and families as we all seek to keep mothers and babies healthy.


FAQ 2020 Visitor Restrictions UNCHC

Thank you for helping to keep our patients and employees safe!

As we enter the more active period of flu season, beginning Monday, January 6th, 2020, children <12 years of age are prohibited from visiting all inpatient areas, waiting rooms, and perioperative waiting rooms at UNC Hospitals (including the Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Wakebrook campuses, but excluding inpatient Hospice).

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why are children <12 years of age unable to come to these units at UNC Hospitals?
We understand that visitor restrictions for inpatient areas and waiting rooms at UNC Hospitals present challenges for families and can be difficult for children who have a loved one in the hospital. However, it is important for the safety of our patients in these units children <12 years of age not visit in-person at this time for the following reasons:
  • Children <12 years of age get sick more often than adults, and when children get sick their bodies do not fight off infection as fast as adults.
  • Children with respiratory viruses can spread their illness to others for up to two days before they have any symptoms of being sick.
  • Almost half of children with viral respiratory infections do not have any symptoms, but can still spread the illness.
We encourage children who wish to visit to write letters instead. We also encourage parents and friends to help children stay connected while these visitor restrictions are in place through Skype or FaceTime.

When should I not visit UNC Hospitals?
No matter your age, if you have a fever, an active cough, a runny nose with nasal congestion or a sore throat, you should not visit UNC Hospitals unless you are coming to receive medical care.

FAQ 2020 Visitor Restrictions in Spanish
¡Gracias por ayudarnos a mantener a salvo a nuestros pacientes y empleados!
Conforme llegamos al periodo más activo de la gripe estacional, a partir del lunes, 6 de enero de 2020, los niños menores de 12 años tienen prohibido visitar las áreas de pacientes hospitalizados, salas de espera y salas de espera de operatorias en UNC Hospitals (incluyendo Chapel Hill y Hillsborough).

Preguntas frecuentes:
¿Por qué no se permite que los niños menores de 12 años vengan a estas unidades en UNC Hospitals?
Entendemos que las restricciones para los visitantes en las áreas de pacientes hospitalizados y salas de espera de UNC Hospitals presentan un reto para las familias y puede ser difícil para los niños que tienen a sus seres queridos en el hospital. Sin embargo, es importante para la seguridad de nuestros pacientes en estas unidades que los niños menores de 12 años no vengan ahora de visita por los siguientes motivos:
  •  Los niños menores de 12 años se enferman con más frecuencia que los adultos y cuando los niños se enferman, sus cuerpos no luchan contra la infección tan rápido como los adultos.
  • Los niños con virus respiratorios pueden propagar su enfermedad a otros hasta dos días antes de que tengan algún síntoma de que estén enfermos.
  • Casi la mitad de los niños con enfermedades respiratorias virales no tienen ningún síntoma, pero aún pueden propagar la enfermedad.
Animamos a los niños que quieren venir de visita a que en lugar de eso escriban cartas. También animamos a los padres y amigos a que ayuden a los niños a que se mantengan en comunicación a través de Skype o FaceTime mientras las restricciones para los visitantes estén vigentes.

¿Cuándo no debería visitar UNC Hospitals?
No importa la edad que tenga, si tiene fiebre, tos activa, goteo o congestión nasal o dolor de garganta, usted no debería visitar UNC Hospitals a menos que venga para recibir cuidado médico.
Translated by UNC Health Care Interpreter Services, 01/05/18


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