Visiting Guidelines and Hours

One of our welcome desk staff members hands a female visitor a visitor's badge.

Our guidelines for visitors help us maintain a safe and calm environment for high-quality care.

Visitor Identification Badges

Children’s National Medical Center requires photo identification when visitors sign in, and requires that all visitors display the hospital-provided identification badge while visiting anywhere within the hospital.

International patients will receive a long-term badge for their stay.

Visiting Guidelines

Parents and Legal Guardians

  • May visit patients 24 hours a day
  • Are encouraged to stay overnight with children who require overnight stays. Up to two parents or guardians may stay in a child’s room, or in a sleeping area nearby
  • For your child’s safety, brothers and/or sisters are not permitted in patient rooms after visiting hours

Other Visitors

  • May visit from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week
  • If under the age of 18, must have adult supervision at all times and may not stay overnight
  • Must check in with the nurses or social workers on the child’s unit to be sure patients and their families have agreed that the patient can have visitors

What to Bring for an Overnight Stay

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  • Paperwork and Documents 

    • Picture identification card (for parents and patients over 18)
    • Proof of guardianship (foster parent papers, court orders) if you are not the parent of the patient
    • The Consent to Surgery form if your child is having a surgical procedure (your child’s surgeon will provide this to you)
  • For Parents and Guardians

    • Books and magazines, knitting materials or your laptop computer. Free wireless internet service is available for all guests
    • Toiletries for yourself, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
    • A change of clothing (particularly a sweater or jacket for cooler temperatures)
  • For Patients

    • A comfortable change of clothes
    • Containers for glasses, contact lenses or any assistive devices such as hearing aids
    • Your child’s favorite toy, blanket or comfort item
    • Special bottle, pacifier or sippy cup
  • Do Not Bring to the Hospital

    • Electrical equipment, such as hair dryers or radios
    • Nail polish or nail polish remover
    • Valuables, such as jewelry
    • Latex balloons. Mylar balloons are okay