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Airborne and contact precautions

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What are airborne and contact precautions?

Some germs are easily spread to other patients by touch and in the air. Airborne and contact precautions are a way of preventing this spread.

Why is my child in airborne and contact precautions?

Your child is in airborne and contact precautions because of the type of illness he or she has, or may have. The precautions are to decrease the chance others will catch the germs.

Other information: _______________________________________________________

What will be done to prevent the spread of germs?

Your child will be in a special room called an "airborne infection isolation" or "negative air-flow" room. The door to your child's room will be closed at all times to prevent spreading the germs. Your child must stay in the room, and can only come out for certain tests, with special precautions in place.

A sign on the door to your child's room reminds staff to wear a gown and gloves when inside the room. Staff will wash their hands before entering and leaving your child's room.

What should we do?

  1. Wash your hands before entering and before leaving your child's room. Be sure other visitors do this too.
  2. Talk to your nurse before inviting other family members and friends to visit because of the high risk for spreading germs.
  3. While taking care of your child, wear gloves and a gown if you might have contact with body fluids (urine, saliva, stool) or if drainage is likely.
  4. If you are coughing, wear a mask when inside and outside of your child's room.
  5. If you need linens or other materials stored outside your child's room, please ask a staff member for them. Do not go into unit storage areas.
  6. Your child's family and visitors should not go into other patients' rooms.

If you have questions about the special safeguards, please ask the nurse.

Can my child go to the playroom?

Your child will not be allowed to go into the playroom due to the high risk of spreading germs. Toys will be brought into your child's room. All items, including equipment, toys, and games, must stay in your child's room until they are cleaned by hospital workers.


This sheet is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any questions, please ask your child's doctor or nurse.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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