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Special Visitor Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in visiting CHOC Children’s. All visiting performers and groups must be screened and scheduled through the child life department. Unfortunately, for the safety of our patients, we are unable to accommodate all offers, but we want you to know we appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Consideration will be given to events that are:

  • highly entertaining and educational
  • unique (we can only accommodate so many similar acts)
  • appropriate for all ages (primarily ages 2 to 16 years)
  • physically and emotionally safe (non-threatening, non-violent, etc.)
  • appropriate for the conditions of the patients (i.e., small groups, not too loud)
  • religiously and politically neutral
  • appropriate for the space available.

Planning your visit

  1. All special visits must be screened and approved in advance through the child life department. Please click here to download an application.
  2. Any visitor having recent contact or exposure to a communicable disease, or having recent contact with an ill person, must receive approval from the Infection Control Practitioner. Any visitor who is currently ill is not permitted to visit.
  3. A member of the child life department must accompany the group throughout the event.
  4. Visitors are not permitted to the inpatient units without a member of the child life department as an escort.
  5. Previous successful experience entertaining and visiting with children is necessary.
  6. Visiting groups may not exceed eight participants, because large groups can be intimidating to our patients and all performances take place in small play rooms.
  7. We cannot guarantee the size of an audience due to patients’ conditions and availability.
  8. Since children often have short attention spans, events should be interactive and no more than 30 minutes per play room.
  9. Attire must be appropriate for all ages to reflect the CHOC dress code. The following dress code is required: no open-toed shoes, logo T-shirts with inappropriate slogans, short skirts, tank tops or low-cut tops. All tattoos must be covered with clothing.
  10. No religious or political implications are permitted in special programs.
  11. No food or donation is to be distributed to patients without prior approval from the child life department.
  12. No plants or animals are permitted in the hospital, unless currently part of our pet therapy program.
  13. Performances may not include any potentially harmful materials including latex balloons, fire, candles, knives or weapons.
  14. A patient’s diagnosis and history are confidential, therefore they will not be disclosed.
  15. No photographs/video may be taken without prior approval from child life and/or CHOC public relations. Any requests for groups to invite media must be approved, at least two weeks in advance, by CHOC public relations. Please note that media presence may interfere with patients’ experiences, and is therefore not encouraged.
  16. No electrical equipment is allowed inside the hospital building without prior approval from plant operations.
  17. CHOC is not be responsible for any injury, loss of personal belongings or equipment while you are visiting.
  18. The child life department reserves the right to cancel or discontinue special programs at any time if they are thought to be inappropriate or unsafe for the patients.

Day of Visit Guidelines

To make the day of your visit successful, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Please respect patient and family rights for privacy and avoid sensitive topics. Do not ask questions about diagnosis, age, length of hospital stay or plans for going home, and avoid using health or medical humor of any kind.
  • Approach children slowly and quietly. Allow patients to decide to what extent they wish to interact with you. If the child shows any resistance to greeting, do not persist.
  • Successful events are age-appropriate and invite participation by the children to some extent.
  • Open-ended questions and encouraging children to assist with the performance provide a connection between the performer and the audience.
  • Please contact the child life department if you have questions regarding your performance content, length, etc., or about the children’s needs.
  • Have fun and enjoy yourself.

Parking and Information

Please park in the garage next to the entrance of CHOC’s main hospital building. We will validate your parking ticket. Please remember to bring it with you when you enter the hospital. If you would like more information about our special events program, please call us at 714-509-7809.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine