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Coronavirus Update: What patients and families need to know

Preparing for Your Visit

Guidance for Visiting the Emergency Department Regarding Coronavirus

Children’s National Hospital has implemented strategies to limit the spread of coronavirus in our community. As a precaution to protect our patients, families and staff, we are following the recommendations from the CDC.

If your child has developed a fever, cough or flu-like symptoms, or has been within 6 feet of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should contact your child’s primary care provider. If you feel that your child is having a medical emergency, please come to the Emergency Department. They will then work with your local or state health departments to determine the appropriate next steps for your child’s care.

Please only visit the Emergency Department if you are experiencing a major or life-threatening issue. This will help limit the potential spread of the virus in our community, and will help ensure that our Emergency Department is able to care for patients with the most critical needs first.

Based on recommendations from public health authorities, we are not providing testing based solely on the request of a child’s primary caregiver. We will work closely with the Department of Health to determine if testing is required based on a patient’s symptoms and risk of exposure.

COVID-19 Family and Caregiver Visitation Policy

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Children’s National is taking extra steps to protect our patients, families and staff, including updating our visitation policy. We are screening patients and parents/caregivers 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.

Outpatient Appointments

  • All families must identify one parent/caregiver to accompany the child for their appointment. A caregiver must be an adult over the age of 18.
  • Siblings under 18 cannot enter at this time.
  • Parents/caregivers with symptoms will be given a mask and asked to follow extra precautions for their appointment.

Inpatient Stays

  • All families can identify two parents/caregivers for their child’s inpatient visitation list. A caregiver must be an adult over the age of 18.
  • Only one of those caregivers can be at the bedside at a time.
  • Siblings under 18 cannot enter at this time.
  • Parents/caregivers with symptoms will not be able to enter the inpatient area.

The decision to restrict our visitation policy was difficult, and we thank you for helping us keep our patients, staff and community safe.

Visit for the most up-to-date information.

Useful Information to Prepare for Your Visit

At Children’s National Hospital, we strive to make your family’s visit or extended stay both safe and comfortable. Whether you’re visiting our main hospital in Washington, D.C., or one of our outpatient centers throughout the region, you may have questions before, during or after your child’s visit. 

We’re here to answer your questions and provide you with useful information about getting here, what you need to bring and what you should know about our facilities.

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Traveling to Children's

Learn how to navigate transportation and parking, find our locations and discover other essential information as you prepare for your child's visit at Children's National.

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Telehealth Services

We are connecting families to convenient, quality care using secure technology. Learn how you can engage virtually with your child’s care team.

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Your First Visit

We understand keeping up with your child’s medical needs can be challenging, so we have provided information to help you prepare for your child’s first appointment.

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Having Surgery: What to Expect

When preparing for your child’s surgery, it is important that you understand the process and feel comfortable with our facility. View our resources to help prepare you and your child before, during and after surgery.

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Talking to Your Child About Hospitalization

We understand that you may be unsure about what to tell your child about surgery. Here are some age-appropriate guidelines from our Child Life Specialists to help prepare both you and your child.

Emergency Medicine and Trauma Services

Emergency Visits

Learn about the emergency departments that serve Children’s National Hospital patients and their families.



MyBearGuide is an app for patients and families to use when they visit Children’s National Hospital which includes information on how to get to Children’s National, how to get around the main hospital campus, information about food and amenities, current ER wait times and more.

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Getting a Second Opinion

We provide access to leading pediatric specialists in your community. Patients are often referred to us by primary care physicians when your child needs specialty care or a second opinion.