Skip to Main Content

Welcome to

Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.

Learn More
Blog Community

Isolation: Contact Precautions Non-Restrictive

Example of contact precautions restrictive sign used at St. Jude

The above is an example of a Contact Precautions sign showing the safety equipment needed to enter the room and proper disposal when leaving the room.

The doctor has placed your child in isolation because of an infection that could spread to other patients in the hospital. To lower the risk of spreading the infection, we must limit your child’s contact with other patients.  

Some types of germs (viruses and bacteria) can be spread through contact—by touching infected patients or by touching things that have germs on them. Your child will follow non-restrictive precautions. Below are the steps you need to take: 

Clean hands prevent spread of infection 

The most important way to prevent the spread of infection is to clean your hands often. This means either washing well with soap and water or using alcohol gel.  

Getting to the hospital 

  • Your child can ride in a St. Jude shuttle bus with other patients and families.  
  • Your child can use the regular hospital entrance. 

Your child’s outpatient visit 

  • Your child can go to appointments in different areas of the hospital and can visit common areas, waiting rooms, and public events. 
  • Your child will wear a white armband. A purple isolation sign will be on the door. The sign will tell people what type of PPE to wear when in your child’s room. 
  • Staff and visitors must wear gown, gloves, and mask when entering room. Gowns and gloves are stored outside the room, but are thrown away inside the room.  
  • Clean hands before entering and after leaving the isolation room. Also clean hands before and after using gowns, masks, and gloves.  
  • Outpatients should never visit the inpatient unit. 

Your child’s inpatient stay 

  • Your child must stay in their room. No visiting common areas. 
  • You and your family should limit your trips to other parts of the hospital to avoid spreading your child’s infection. Never enter other patient rooms or have close contact with other patients or their parents. 
  • Wear gloves when touching soiled items in your child’s room. This includes emptying bedpans, helping the patient to the toilet, handling urine or stool, or changing diapers. Wash your hands after removing gloves. 
  • Do not put food or drinks from your child’s room into refrigerators on the inpatient unit.  
  • If you bring food from outside the hospital, place it in the Family Lounge refrigerator first. Then, you can take portions to your child’s room. Once food enters a patient room, the uneaten portion must be thrown away. It must not be placed back in the refrigerator. 
  • Please have hospital room service deliver your child’s food when possible. This will reduce the risk of infection. Food from room service comes on throwaway trays. Flush leftover liquids down the toilet. 
  • Limit the number of personal items in the room, so that staff can clean surfaces well. 
  • Bring only solid-surface toys into the isolation room. They must be cleaned before they leave the room. 
  • Place clothes in a personal belonging bag before removing them from the room. If possible, wash them in hot water with bleach. 
  • Anyone who is not a parent (caregiver) must wear the PPE that is posted on the door.  
  • During transport within the hospital, the patient must wear a clean gown. Staff must wear gloves and a gown to transport the child to other locations in the hospital. Parents and caregivers must wear gloves and a gown only if they carry the patient during hospital transport. 

Your child's stay in housing 

  • You and your child can stay in any available room in St. Jude housing. A room or apartment with a door that opens to the outside is not needed.  
  • You may go to common areas. Your child may leave the apartment and go to common areas.  
  • Clean your hands. You and other family members and visitors must clean your hands before you leave your room and when you return to it. 

Key Points

  • Isolation precautions help lower the risk of spreading infection. 
  • When on non-restrictive isolation precautions, your child may go to common areas and stay in regular housing.  


Reviewed: September 2022