The CHOC Feeding Program :: Visitation Guidelines
The CHOC Children’s Multidisciplinary Feeding Program is dedicated to providing patients and their families with the skills they need to make feeding and mealtime not only possible, but pleasurable. While 19 days may feel like a long time away from family and friends, focusing on the feeding treatments and activities offered in our unique program has been shown to have incredible results.
In light of our successes, our team of highly qualified experts who care for the patients undergoing therapy in the feeding program have put together the visitor guidelines below. While each family’s needs and experiences are different, please know that the guidelines are intended to provide the very best results for the child undergoing treatment and serve as a way to keep the child focused on his or her goals. These guidelines also allow the child’s primary caregiver (parent or legal guardian) who is staying with them in the hospital to also focus on the child’s therapy and keep up their energy level while participating in the child’s therapy.
WEEK 1 (Days 1-5)
- Other parent/caregiver may be present at any time and may observe feeding therapy sessions from outside of the room. For meals in the patient’s room, the other parent or caregiver may be a quiet observer (not interact with the child) or may be asked to wait outside if they child seems distracted by the other parent.
- Siblings may come and visit their parent in the lobby or off-site during breaks or while the patient is in the playroom. It is not recommended that siblings visit the patient, as it usually leads to distraction or homesickness, which is hard to redirect.
- Other visitors should be limited to allow child and parent to get into the routine and rest in the evening.
FIRST WEEKEND (Days 6 and 7)
- Visitors may be present outside of meal times until 8 p.m.
- Siblings may be present, based on discretion of the primary feeder (caregiver) as to how distracting or disruptive it may be to the patient’s focus.
WEEK 2 (Days 8-12)
- Other parent/caregiver may be present at any time and participation in meal times will be decided based on the patient’s progress and needs.
- Siblings may come and visit their parent in the lobby or off-site during breaks or while the patient is in the playroom. It is not recommended that the siblings visit the patient, as it usually leads to distraction or homesickness, which is hard to redirect.
- Other visitors may visit the child’s caregiver at family’s discretion in the evening after the dinner session is finished until 8p.m. This is typically in a common area, not the patient’s room.
SECOND WEEKEND (Days 13 and 14)
- Siblings and other family members are encouraged to join the patient and the primary feeder as they learn to eat meals in other settings besides the therapy room. This is a good time to integrate other family members and practice "family-style meals".
WEEK 3 (Days 15-19)
- Other parent/caregiver will participate in meal times as a secondary feeder, and may lead meals with therapist guidance as appropriate.
- Other parent/caregiver and siblings are welcome to participate in meal times, as appropriate. This will allow the child to use his or her feeding skills as they will at home.
- Other visitors may visit at the family’s discretion in the evening after dinner session is finished until 8p.m.