COVID-19 Update:Learn where you can get your child vaccinated, as well as other important facts about COVID-19.
Main Hospital Visitors:Garage improvements are underway at our main hospital, so please plan extra time for parking and exiting. Please be alert to changes in the flow of traffic and pedestrians to help us keep everyone safe.
Visiting Hours and Guidelines
Last Updated: November 30, 2021
At Children's National Hospital, parents and guardians can be with their child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All other visitors can see patients from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Children’s National is taking extra steps to protect our patients, families and staff:
- Visitor screening. We screen patients and parents, caregivers, family members and visitors for the following COVID-19 symptoms at our Welcome Desks and check-in areas at all locations: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and/or respiratory symptoms. Any individual with signs/symptoms of infection are prohibited to visit.
- Mask policy. Recently, the DC government announced that masking guidelines would be relaxed at some types of locations. Please note this does not apply to health care facilities, and therefore our current masking guidelines remain in effect at all Children’s locations, clinical and non-clinical, and includes our shuttles. Read more about our mask policy. For guidance on what masks to use, please refer to the CDC guidelines.
- Outpatient appointments. Up to 2 people can accompany one patient to an outpatient appointment.
- Inpatient stays. For inpatient visits at time of admission, each parent or caregiver may designate who can visit at the bedside. Parents or caregivers may designate a maximum of four (4) individuals (additional caregivers, family or visitors), including themselves, who may visit the patient. Siblings under 12 years of age may not visit at this time. A sibling between 12 and 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult member during the visit and at the patient's bedside (totaling 2 visitors). Read more about our inpatient stays.
- Patients with, or suspected to have, COVID-19. The visitation for patients with suspected or COVID-19 infection is limited to one designated parent or caregiver who must be able to remain in the patient’s room for the entire visit.
Please read the specifics below, as we continue to evaluate and adjust the visitor policy to ensure the safety of patients, families and staff. While the decision to restrict our visitation policy was difficult, we thank you for helping us keep our community safe.
COVID-19 Family and Caregiver Visitation Policy
Additional Information for Visitors
Children’s National uses an Elevator Destination system. This system enables visitors to enter the floor they are traveling to, and the elevator system will alert them to which elevator cab will be traveling to their destination. This system enhances our visitor’s experience by enabling patients, families and visitors traveling to destinations in our main building to reach their floor in a more efficient and timely manner.
This dispatching system directs passengers to the elevator that will get them to their destination with the shortest travel time. By grouping people together based on the floor they are traveling to, the number of stops are reduced, thereby improving the efficiency of the building's elevators. There are two touch screens located at the Costco Wholesale Atrium elevator bank, and touch screens are located at every floor in the main building. If you have questions about using the elevator system, please see the Welcome Desk.
- If you are sick, please do not visit, unless you are the parent or guardian and must come to the hospital to get care for your child. This helps us prevent the spread of illness to other patients, families and our employees. If you are sick and must be here to get care for your child, please let the Welcome Desk or a nurse on your child’s unit know.
- Children’s National is a smoke-free environment. Smoking is not permitted inside the hospital and is not permitted anywhere on the hospital campus. Additionally, smoking is not permitted in any of Children’s specialty care locations or in any of Children’s clinics.
- Alcohol and drugs are not permitted in the hospital.
- Please leave electrical equipment, such as hair dryers and radios, at home.
- You may use cell phones and wireless devices throughout the hospital. Please keep conversations quiet to respect other patients and families.
- You may not use camera phones or other cameras to take pictures within the hospital; this is to protect the privacy of others.
- If family or friends want to send gifts, flowers or mylar balloons (no latex balloons) to a patient, they must order from an outside vendor. Items can be sent to the hospital’s address (111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20010) with the patient’s name and room number.
- Please keep valuables at home. We try to maintain a secure environment, but cannot guarantee the security of valuables left in waiting areas, playrooms or patient rooms.
It’s important to help fight the spread of infection. All visitors should:
- Clean your hands thoroughly before and after you visit a patient. Also clean your hands before touching or eating food, after you use the bathroom and after you sneeze or cough, especially if you have covered your mouth with your hands. Remember, hand washing is the single best way to prevent the spread of infection. All visitors are welcome to use any sink or waterless gel dispenser to clean hands at any time.
- If your hands are visibly dirty, it is best to use soap and hot water, and to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, you can either wash with soap and water or use waterless gel. Waterless gel is available for your use throughout the hospital. You can find wall units of gel throughout the units, at the nurse stations and in patient rooms. It is best to rub your hands together with the gel for at least 20 seconds or until the gel is gone.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Use tissues, throw them away and then clean your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or elbow. If you use your hands to cover your sneeze or cough, wash them right away with soap and water or use waterless gel if soap and water are not easily available.
As a precaution to protect our patients, families and staff, Children’s National Hospital has suspended hospital tours and changed the format of pre-surgical tours to video access only
. This is part of our efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community.
We Will Get Through This Together
We understand that things can be stressful for you and your family during the pandemic, especially with the new restrictions in our visitation policy and changes to how we provide care. Our Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) has a special message for you.
Attention: Visitors to the Main Hospital
Garage improvements are underway at our main hospital, so please plan extra time for parking and exiting. Please be alert to changes in the flow of traffic and pedestrians to help us keep everyone safe.
Children's National Hospital and its affiliates do not restrict or deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.