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Isolation: Droplet Precautions Non-Restrictive

blue isolation sign

The above is an example of a Droplet 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 droplets—by coughing or sneezing droplets that touch a person or a surface. 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. Wear a mask at all times. 
  • 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. Wear a mask at all times. 
  • Your child will wear a white armband. A blue 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.  
  • Your child will wear a mask at all times. 
  • 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 can be in common area, in waiting rooms and at public events while wearing a mask. 
  • You and your family may visit other parts of the hospital. 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 mask.  

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. Wear a mask at all times. 
  • 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