Visitor Information | Overview
We encourage friends and family to visit, but please ask visitors to be considerate of other patients and staff, especially in regard to noise. Some areas of the hospital have specific limitations to the number of people that may visit at one time.
Friends and family members who have been exposed to any contagious illnesses, such as a cold or chickenpox, should not visit the hospital.
Please notify staff on the unit in advance when arranging for entertainers or special guests. Visitors may not bring electrical appliances into the hospital.
Visitors under age 12 must be screened at the information desk before visiting inpatient floors. Once screened, visiting children will get a dinosaur sticker to wear for that day.
Parents and guardians are required to wear a photo ID badge to identify them as such as they move about the hospital. IDs are available at the Information Desk in the main lobby, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parents and guardians must show identification (a driver’s license) to receive a visitor ID. This ID also allows you to get discounts and special offers at many area businesses.
Visiting the ICUs
When visiting a patient in an intensive care unit (ICU), please do not bring food, fresh flowers, or plants (silk flowers, photos, and cards are acceptable). Please remember that space for personal items is limited in the ICUs.
Please respect the needs of others for a calm and quiet atmosphere in the ICUs.
Parents and guardians are welcome to stay in the hospital 24 hours a day, although there is room for only one parent to sleep overnight.
Brothers, sisters, friends, and other relatives may visit every day between noon and 8 p.m. Only parents or guardians are allowed to visit the hospital after 8 p.m., with some exceptions.
To create the right environment for rest and recovery, our inpatient units practice quiet hours each afternoon and overnight. The intensive care units (ICUs) promote a quiet environment 24 hours a day.
During quiet hours, noise is kept to a minimum. This encourages the peace and quiet patients need for resting, sleeping, reading, or simply enjoying time with their families. Playrooms stay open during quiet hours and patients and families still have access to the same resources, but we ask that you:
- be mindful any neighbors, both in the room and in the halls
- turn down the TV volume
- set cell phones on vibrate
- consider using headphones
- consider using unit family rooms for phone calls or step to the back of the room
- turn down the volume of video calls
Please ask any nurse on the unit for more information.
Mail and postage
Gifts and mail can help brighten a hospital stay. Patients can receive mail while at the hospital. Ask your child life specialist for the exact mailing address.
If you need to send a letter or a package, you can buy stamps from the cashier’s office on the first floor of the Farley Building.
Please note: cards, letters, toys, flowers, games, and Mylar balloons for patients are welcomed in the hospital. However, latex balloons are not allowed anywhere in the hospital. Deliveries of latex balloons to the hospital will not be accepted.
Cell phones and other wireless devices cannot be used on patient floors or near any medical equipment. Please turn them off in restricted areas. However, they may be used by the elevator area on each patient floor, as well as in the main areas of the hospital. If you have questions about this policy, please call the Biomedical Engineering Department at 617-355-6166 or Telecommunications at 617-355-8444.
Boston Children’s is a smoke-free institution. This applies to all patient rooms, bathrooms, waiting areas, lounges, hospital entrances, and all hospital buildings. There are maps on the edges of the hospital’s property of the places in the Longwood Medical Area where smoking is allowed.
Alcohol and drugs
Alcohol and illegal drugs are prohibited in the hospital and on the grounds. Patients, parents, or other visitors who would like professional help for problems with alcohol or drug use may speak to a nurse, physician, or social worker.
Weapons, including firearms and knives, are not allowed on hospital grounds. If you are legally authorized to carry a weapon, please contact the Security Office at 617-355-6121 before coming to the hospital to arrange to have it secured when you arrive. The Security Office will hold your weapon while you are visiting the hospital; you may claim it when you leave.
Since many people go into and out of the hospital at all hours, theft is a concern. Please leave all valuables at home, including expensive clothing, electronic equipment, large sums of money, and valuable jewelry. If you do bring items of value, keep them locked up at all times. Each patient room includes a small storage safe.
For safety reasons, Boston Children’s recommends that you do not walk alone outdoors at night. Please call security if you need an escort.
Boston Children’s staff works hard to make the hospital a safe and comfortable place. Security personnel are available to help you and answer your questions at all times of the day and night.
Location: Blackfan Garage
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Emergency Security Assistance (24 hours): 617-355-6121