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Enteric precautions

Article Translations: (Spanish) (Somali)

What are enteric precautions?

Some germs are easily spread to other patients by direct or indirect touch. Enteric precautions are a 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 enteric precautions?

Your child is in enteric 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 must 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?

  1. Wash your hands before entering and before leaving your child's room. Make sure to use soap and water when leaving the 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 (stool, urine, saliva).
  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 patient's 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 to 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 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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