Hospitals Ban Kids Under 16

Swine flu fears prompt anti-kid visitor campaign

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, Oct 15, 2009  |  Updated 9:57 AM PDT
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Swine Flu SWAG

National Geographic/Getty Images

A Bay Area hospital is taking a kid-free approach to fighting swine flu.

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Kids are notorious for spreading germs. They wipe their snotty noses with their hands, go to the potty and skip the sink then handle their after-school snacks with their germy mits. Next stop, a visit to to a big brother or sister at the hospital.

Not if their sibling is a patient at Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

The Bay Area facilities are trying to combat the cooties by saying "no" to kids.

Starting Monday, children under 16 will not be allowed to visit patients, not even family members, at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital or Stanford.

It's all part of the hospital's efforts to keep the H1N1 virus from spreading.

Hospital officials say kids are more likely to contract the illness and can be infectious for longer periods of time. They ensure they aren't just anti-kid, asking anyone, young or old, to stay out.

Meanwhile, we are advising all staff, visitors and parents (regardless of age) to not enter the hospital if symptoms of an influenza-like illness are present (i.e. fever of 100 F or above and cough, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion.)

 The idea of banning young ones from hospitals is spreading. Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland has already put the brakes on visitors under 18.

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