The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin announced on Monday that a temporary ban will be placed on children under the age of 12 from visiting patients at their facilities. This drastic measure was taken in an effort to curb the spread of the influenza virus. This ban is in place until further notice and will affect the Milwaukee and Fox Valley hospitals.
According to WISN Milwaukee, the ban goes into effect from January 9 and will remain until further notice. For those who require regular updates regarding this tempory closure, the hospital will be updating the situation via their website.
“We know this change may be difficult for some of our patient families,” a statement on the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s website reads.
“Viral season has begun in Wisconsin and we want to implement this restriction in advance of any increase of viral illnesses in our community. Limiting visitors to our hospitalized patients will help keep them safe while they’re in our care. This restriction will be assessed regularly as new information about the flu season becomes available.”
While the restriction has been put in place to help stop the spread of the flu virus, it is only restricting visitors trying to access any inpatient care area, according to Fox WZAW. For parents who are concerned about whether they can take their sick child to the hospital, rest assured that the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin still has its doors open regarding patient admissions. The hospital’s clinics, Urgent Care locations, and Emergency Department will still accept children under the age of 12 and their families who are seeking medical attention.
“While we understand and appreciate the inconvenience this may cause some families, patient safety is our primary goal,” said Mike Gutzeit, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
Medical authorities are urging people who are unvaccinated against this year’s flu strains to get their flu shots in an effort to help curb the spread of the flu.
Fox 6 Now advises that vaccines and good handwashing practices are the best ways to help curtail the spread of the flu this year.
“Good hand washing is always the most important thing to be doing with kids,” said Dr. Molly Cousin, a pediatrician at Sixteenth Street Community Health Center.
“Just like any other virus, this is something that spreads through droplets, coughing, sneezing.”
In addition to handwashing, authorities recommend those who have the flu or flu-like symptoms to stay at home to help stop the spread of infection.