Visiting guidelines


St. Jude staff members know that love and support from family and friends help your child adjust to being in the hospital. To protect the health and safety of your child and all St. Jude patients, please follow the hospital’s visiting guidelines. As you know, your child must be protected from germs that may cause infection. The visiting guidelines support the hospital’s infection control policies. If you have questions about one of these rules, please ask your child’s doctor or nurse.

  • Parents or primary caregivers may stay with their children 24 hours a day, because they are not considered visitors.
  • Patients and their parents or legal guardians may decide who visits the patient, and they have the right to turn away visitors as long as this action does not violate any laws (such as custody laws).
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does not restrict, limit, or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • Many St. Jude patients have weak immune systems. Visitors should not enter the hospital if they are sick or have been exposed to illnesses that are easy to spread (contagious).
  • Some vaccines are made from live viruses, which can pose a threat to the health of St. Jude patients. Visitors should not enter the hospital:
    • If they have received the oral polio or smallpox vaccine within 4 weeks; or
    • If they have rashes after receiving the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine.
  • Please follow all posted guidelines for using masks, gowns, and gloves.
  • You will be taught how to help control infections, including the best way to clean your hands. Ask your nurse if you want to learn more about controlling infection. (Also, see “Do you know… How to prevent infection” and “Do you know… Clean hands.”)
  • Wash your hands or use alcohol gel each time you enter and leave a patient’s room. Everyone should disinfect or clean their hands before entering and after leaving your child’s room. This includes when you move from the parent room to your child’s room.
  • For your child’s safety and your comfort please do not sleep on the floor of the hospital room. Staff members need to be able to reach your child quickly and easily to provide care.
  • Parents and visitors should not sit or sleep on the patient’s bed. It is important to keep the number of germs low in the area where your child sleeps, especially around his face.
  • The number of parents and other visitors must be limited to 3 for the Hematology-Oncology Inpatient Unit and 2 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the Transplant Unit, and the Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU). One way St. Jude protects your child is with the system that circulates the air out of the room and replaces it with highly filtered, clean air. The system cannot work well if too many people are in the room. Ask your nurse if you want help explaining this to family and friends. You should find that everyone is willing to take turns visiting when they know the risk to your child of having too many
    people in the room.
  • Visiting guidelines for the Transplant Unit are different than other areas of the hospital. The following guidelines are not as strict as those on the Transplant Unit. To learn more, see “Do You Know… Admission Screening for the Transplant Unit.”
  • Friends and family members 7 years old or older may visit your child without restrictions. Please talk to your doctor or nurse if you think it is important for someone younger than 7 to be with your child.
  • Many patients make friends at St. Jude; however, for the health of each child it is important that patients not visit other inpatient rooms. Also, outpatients should not visit the inpatient units.
  • Before they are allowed to visit your child, all children younger than 7 must be screened daily. The staff needs to be sure that these kids do not have illnesses that are easy to spread to your child or other patients.
  • ·       For everyone’s safety, parents must supervise their children at all times. Children may not wander freely in the Patient Care Center, the Chili’s Care Center, the Kay Research and Care Center or on the hospital grounds. Staff members must spend their time taking care of patients. They will not be able to oversee the care of siblings and other child visitors.
  • Only one (1) caregiver at a time may stay overnight in your child’s hospital room. This one person can be a sibling age 15 or older. Siblings younger than 15 may stay overnight in the parent room if the parent is present.
  • Talk to your child’s doctor or nurse before bringing a child who is one (1) year old or younger to the hospital. We want to protect that baby and your child from illness.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

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