HCN News & Notes

Baystate Children’s Hospital Announces Change in Visitor Policy During Cold and Flu Months

SPRINGFIELD — Winter may not officially begin until late December, but the cold and flu season is already upon us, along with cases of RSV and other respiratory illnesses that often affect children at this time of the year.

As these illnesses continue to increase in the community, Baystate Children’s Hospital has announced a change to its visitor policy beginning Nov. 18 to protect young patients whose immune systems are most susceptible while in the hospital. Under the new precautions, no visitors age 12 and under are allowed, only two visitors at a time are allowed per patient, and no one should visit if they are not feeling well or have the flu.

The restrictions are in the best interest of both patients and the community. For those who wish to connect to a hospitalized child or the family, they can call, Skype, or FaceTime. Child Life team members will assist patients and families concerned about maintaining strong family connections.

Beyond these guidelines, Baystate Children’s Hospital offers the following additional tips to make the public’s visits to the hospital as safe as possible for them and others:

• Always wash your hands upon entering and leaving the patient’s room;

• Assess your own health before visiting the hospital, and do not visit if you are at higher risk to contract infections;

• If the patient you are visiting has a contagious disease, consider calling instead;

• If you decide to visit a patient with a contagious illness, wear the protective items offered by the medical staff; and

• Flu shots are still widely available and effective, and are the best protection against flu.

The new restrictions are in effect at this time only at Baystate Children’s Hospital and will continue through mid-March.