What are contact precautions?
Some germs are easily spread to other patients by direct or indirect touch. Contact precautions are way of preventing this spread.
Direct contact means physical contact between people, often the hands. Indirect contact means contact with a contaminated object, such as toys, clothing, or surfaces. Often this happens when hands with germs on them touch a surface, which is then touched by someone else.
Why is my child in contact precautions?
Your child is in 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.
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What will be done to prevent the spread of germs?
Your child should stay in his or her room. If certain tests are needed, your child will be able to come out 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?
- Wash your hands before entering and before leaving your child's room. Be sure other visitors do this too.
- Talk to your nurse before inviting other family members and friends to visit because of the high risk of spreading germs.
- 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.
- If you are coughing, wear a mask when inside and outside of your child's room.
- 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.
- 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 may be able to go into the playroom during off hours if no other patients are present. Toys in the playroom will be cleaned by hospital workers after your child is finished playing with them. Please discuss use of the playroom with those caring for your child.
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
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright
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 Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.
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