Hasbro Children’s Hospital Places Temporary Restriction on Young Visitors

January 27, 2017

Measure designed to prevent spread of respiratory viruses during cold and flu season

Hasbro Children’s Hospital is asking that children under the age of 12 refrain from visiting inpatients of the hospital, until cold and flu season ends. Like many pediatric hospitals across the country, Hasbro Children’s implemented the restriction to prevent the spread of infections due to respiratory viruses to pediatric patients.

“We understand that the policy may create difficulties for some families, particularly those with loved ones staying with us for an extended period,” explained Michael Smit, M.D., an infectious diseases specialist and pediatric hospital epidemiologist. “However, our commitment is to the health and safety of our patients as well as their families.”

Smit said that young children tend to carry respiratory viruses in the community, and these viruses can easily spread to others. He had researched the policies of other hospitals nationally and found that the majority of top-tier pediatric hospitals have similar restrictions.

The flu and cold season typically runs from October 1 to March 31. This is the first time young visitors have been restricted from the hospital since 2009 when the H1N1 flu virus was a concern.

Smit said it is important that everyone – young and old – avoid visiting the hospital if they are experiencing fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose or body aches.

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