Infection Prevention and Control
Most people think of hospitals as places to recover from an illness, but we are also in the business of preventing illnesses. Taking steps to prevent infections saves lives, reduces the length of time patients spend in the hospital and lowers health care costs.
The Infection Prevention & Control Department at Phoenix Children's Hospital makes health care safer by working to prevent the spread of germs that can cause infections, both in the hospital and in the community. We work with local and state departments of health to monitor and control infections that can affect the public.
Learn how the Infection Prevention & Control Department at Phoenix Children's Hospital works to prevent infections in our patients and some steps you can take at home to help protect yourself and your loved ones.
If you are not feeling well, have a cold or fever, or have an illness that can spread to other people, you should wait until you feel better before visiting to protect our patients.
Before being allowed to visit patients, children under 12 years of age will be screened at the front desk for signs of infection and illness.
During respiratory virus season (usually from December to April when cold and flu viruses are common), children under 12 years of age are not allowed to visit hospitalized patients.
Visitor Restrictions – Respiratory Virus Season
Each year during respiratory virus season, Phoenix Children's Hospital and other hospitals around the country do not let children under the age of 12 visit patients.
Visitor restrictions generally go into effect in late fall/early winter when respiratory viruses increase in the community. Visitor restrictions usually end in the spring.
Please remember that if you bring children under 12 years of age to our hospital during visitor restrictions, they will not be permitted to visit hospitalized patients or wait in the lobby unattended.
Visitor restrictions are not in effect
(last updated 04/09/13)
Protecting yourself and your family from colds and flu
Respiratory viruses that cause colds and influenza (flu) spread through coughing and sneezing. They cause illness when they touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. The flu usually causes mild illness, but young children and people with certain health conditions are at higher risk of serious complications like pneumonia.
To reduce the chances of getting a cold or flu:
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth.
- Try to keep babies and young children away from people who have cold and flu symptoms.
- Get your flu shot each year to help protect yourself.
Generally, flu shots for your child are available through your child's doctor. For more information on flu shots for adults and other family members, or to locate a flu shot clinic, call (602) 263-8856 (Phoenix Metro area) or (800) 352-3792 (statewide) or visit www.cir.org or http://flucliniclocator.org/
Remember, getting a flu shot in November, December or January is not too late! Peak flu season in Arizona is usually in February or March.
If you or your child has a cold or flu-like symptoms:
- Avoid spreading germs to others by staying home if you are sick, or keeping your children home if they are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently. Cover your mouth with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Disinfect commonly touched items like doorknobs, phones, and counter tops. Cold and flu germs can live for hours on these objects and can spread to people.
- Parents should contact their health care provider immediately if they have any concerns about their child's recovery. This would include a child having problems breathing, being too sleepy, or not taking enough fluids.
- DO NOT give aspirin to children for treatment of flu symptoms because of the risk of Reye syndrome, an acute and potentially life-threatening condition that results when children take aspirin or aspirin-containing products during certain viral illnesses.
If your child is in the hospital
Download information about infections and infection prevention in the hospital (PDFs):
- Preventing the spread of germs through hand washing
- Isolation Precautions
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Respiratory Viruses
The Emily Center at Phoenix Children's Hospital
If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us at IC@phoenixchildrens.com.