Why does my child have this sign on the door?
The illness your child has or may have is spread easily through air to others, who may breathe in the germs. Because your child’s illness can spread through the air, your child has been placed in Airborne Precautions (isolation). Isolation is needed to prevent the spread of your child’s illness to other patients, visitors, and staff members.
Examples of some illnesses that need airborne precautions
There are 7 types of illness that require Airborne Precautions:
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Chicken Pox – Also requires contact precautions
- Shingles in a patient with a poor immune system or shingles on more than one area of the body – Also requires contact precautions
- Avian Influenza
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
How do we follow airborne precautions?
- Your child has been placed in a private room to prevent others from catching your child’s illness. The air in this private room goes directly outside rather than going to other areas in the hospital. The room also keeps air from your child’s room from going back into the hallway. For the air to stay in the room and then be vented outside BOTH the DOORS TO THE ROOM MUST STAY CLOSED. If your child's room has only one door, keep it closed.
- Toys should not be shared with other patients unless a staff member has cleaned and disinfected the toy before giving it to another patient.
- Equipment should not be used on other patients until has been cleaned with disinfectant.
- Your child will need to wear a mask if going to another area of the hospital.
- For Chicken pox (Varicella) and Measles (Rubeola)
- Parents/guardians do not need to wear a mask in your child’s room.
- Parents/guardians who have not had the illness or have not had the immunization for the illness should tell the nurse. It is possible that the parent may become ill and spread the infection to others without knowing it. You should talk with your child’s doctor or nurse if you are not sure.
- It is important to discourage visitors who have not had the illness or have not had the immunization for the illness from visiting your child. This will help keep them from becoming ill. If they must visit, the visitor will need to wear a mask in the room. If the visitor is not sure, the visitor should wear the mask just to be safe.
- For Tuberculosis (TB)
- All staff members caring for your child will wear a special mask.
- Parents/guardians may need to wear a mask outside the room until the hospital is sure you do not have an illness like your child's which may spread to others. If either parent is sick, you need to tell your child’s doctor or nurse.
- No visitors, other than parents/guardians, will be allowed to visit, unless they have a note from their doctor stating they have had a negative chest x-ray or test for TB in the last three months and they are not sick.
What else may we do to help keep this illness from spreading?
One of the most important things is to make sure that everyone uses alcohol hand rub or washes their hands before and after visiting. The alcohol hand rub kills germs and washing with soap and water removes germs. Both are great ways to stop infections from spreading.
Since your child has an illness that can easily spread to others, your child needs to stay in the room until the illness does not have a chance of spreading to others. Even though your child must stay in the room, arrangements can be made to provide certain toys and books for your child to use.
How long does my child have to stay in airborne precautions?
The time your child stays in isolotion depends on the type of illness your child has. Most illnesses only need the precautions until the illness is gone. For children with certain illness, the precautions may be needed for a long period. Please feel free to ask your doctor or nurse about this.
This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.