Safety and Security 

At NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, we want to work closely with you to make your child’s care safe. By getting involved in your child’s care, asking questions, and speaking up, you will help us achieve optimum outcomes for your child.

Be Actively Involved in Your Child’s Care

Your child’s health care team will keep you informed about your child’s care. They will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and explain your child’s treatment plan. If English is not your primary language and you need assistance, we will provide an interpreter for you. When your child is discharged, you will receive written instructions to take home.

Ask Questions and Speak Up

  • Actively participate in decisions about your child’s treatment.
  • Ask questions about your child’s care and treatment.
  • Ask questions about your child’s discharge instructions.
  • Tell us if you do not understand what we are saying to you.
  • Ask for an interpreter if you do not understand English.
  • Keep Your Child’s Health Care Team Informed.
  • Share your child’s medical history with his or her health care team.
  • Tell us about your child’s medical problems and prior surgeries.
  • Tell us if your child has any allergies.
Know Your Child’s Medications

While your child is in the Hospital, ask about all medications he or she is given and why they have been prescribed. Remember to take home your child’s written medication instructions.

Expect Staff to Check and Recheck Your Child’s Identification Band

Your child must wear his or her Hospital identification (ID) band at all times. Our staff will review the information on your child’s Hospital ID band before giving any medications, before tests, procedures, and X-rays, or when giving your child his or her food tray. If your child’s ID band comes off or is unreadable, ask us to replace it.

Understanding Medical Bracelets

Your child may wear a special color-coded bracelet to alert medical staff to food, medication, or other allergies as follows:

  • If your child has a latex allergy, he or she will wear a purple bracelet.
  • If your child has any food/drug allergies, he or she will wear a red bracelet.

Please make sure to tell your child’s attending physician or nurse about any condition unique to your child upon your arrival at the Hospital.

Practice Crib and Bed Safety

All crib side rails must be fully raised and in the locked position every time your child is in the crib. If you need instruction on how to operate the crib, please ask a staff member for assistance. For older children, bed controls are located on the upper side rails. The bed must be kept in the lowest position to enable children to move in and out of bed easily.

Use the Call Button

There is a red button on the television remote control that may be used to call for help whenever it is needed. Call buttons are also located in all bathrooms.

Help Prevent Falls

For your child’s protection, we strive to make every effort to prevent falls during his or her Hospital stay. This includes placing the call button within reach, helping your child get out of bed, and taking your child for walks on the nursing unit. If your child is at risk for falling, we will take extra precautions. You can help prevent falls by:

  • helping your child get out of bed or a chair or, if you are not available, telling your child to call for help before he or she gets out of bed or a chair
  • keeping your child’s call button close by so he or she can reach it at all times
  • having your child wear Hospital-provided non-skid socks or shoes when he or she walks around
  • making sure the brakes are locked before your child gets in or out of a wheelchair
  • if your child wears glasses, making sure he or she has them on before getting out of bed
  • following the staff’s instructions to prevent falls
Preventing Infections
Hand Hygiene

Preventing infections is one of the most important goals of the Hospital. While not every infection is preventable, many can be prevented by taking certain precautions. One of the best ways to prevent infections is hand hygiene. Hand hygiene refers to cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Alcohol-based products are an easy way to perform hand hygiene. Throughout the Hospital, you will see Purell® dispensers and bottles in hallways and patient rooms.

Your child’s health care team will clean their hands before and after providing care to prevent the spread of infection. They are required to use Purell® or wash their hands with soap and water. If you’re not sure that your child’s health care provider cleaned his or her hands, please ask the provider to do so before examining your child or performing a procedure. They will be glad you reminded them.

Follow Visitor Guidelines

We want you to help prevent the spread of infection. If any of your child’s family members or friends has a cold, cough, fever, or rash, please ask them not to visit until they are well. Ask your child’s visitors to clean their hands with Purell® before they come into your child’s room.

Know About Health Care-Associated Infections and Precautions

All hospitals strive to prevent health care-associated infections. These infections include:

  • Surgical site infections, which can happen after surgery at the area on the body where the surgery was performed.
  • Central line-associated blood stream infections, which can occur in patients who have a central line catheter in their vein. These catheters are placed so that patients can receive medications and blood transfusions.
  • Multi-drug resistant organism infection, which is a type of infection that may not be related to a procedure. This type of infection, which can affect any part of the body, is caused by bacteria resistant to many antibiotics. Resistance means that the bacteria have become harder to treat.

These infections can be passed from patient to patient if proper prevention practices are not followed. They can also occur as a result of treatment with antibiotics. When your child has a procedure, such as an operation, a cardiac catheterization, or a central line placement, strict guidelines are in place to help prevent infections. Sterile drapes are used to create barriers to prevent contamination of the body site being worked on.

In addition to performing hand hygiene, the health care team:

  • wears sterile gowns, gloves, caps, and masks
  • uses sterile supplies and surgical instruments
  • cleans the skin with an antiseptic where the procedure is to be done

Before some operations, patients are given antibiotics to prevent infections. In some cases, to help prevent health care-associated infections, we place patients on isolation precautions in a single room. Patients who have been diagnosed with a multi-drug resistant organism infection may also be placed on contact isolation. If your child is on contact isolation, health care team members may wear a mask, gown, or gloves when coming to see your child — although your child may still be in a two-bedded room. Please check with your child’s nurse about precautions you should take.

There will be a sign on the child’s door or bed with a picture that will detail what your family and members of the health care team will need to wear to prevent the spread of contagious germs to others. If your child requires infection control precautions, he or she will not be able to go to the playroom; ask a Child Life Specialist about other options for play and diversion.

Additional precautions may be necessary for the welfare of your child. Please feel free to discuss these with your child’s health care team at any time. If you have questions about preventing health care-associated infections, please ask your child’s doctor or nurse.


For the health and safety of our patients, latex balloons are prohibited in the Hospital as patients and staff members may be allergic to latex. Additionally, latex balloons pose an environmental hazard inside and outside of the Hospital. Silk flowers are preferred over real flowers, as real flowers pose an allergy risk to some patients. Mylar balloons and flowers (fresh cut, artificial, and dried arrangements) are prohibited in all intensive care units, recovery rooms, operating rooms, nurseries, the labor and delivery unit, and oncology and transplant units.

Electrical Appliances

Electrical appliances from home, such as hair dryers and other plug-in items, are not permitted on the units. Special permission to use electronics from home may be granted in rare instances and must be pre-approved by our Biomedical Engineering Department. If you have any questions, please speak with your child’s nurse.

Other Pediatric Patients

For the safety of all of our pediatric patients, please do not feed, pick up, or care for other children who are patients on your child’s unit.

Staff ID Badgess

Every staff member and volunteer is required to wear a Hospital identification badge that includes a photograph, name, and role in the Hospital. Do not hesitate to ask employees or visitors to identify themselves. If you have any concerns about the identity of any person entering your child’s room, contact a member of the nursing staff immediately. Report any suspicious behavior immediately to the Security Department at extension 6-0911. Only staff wearing purple ID badges can transport patients to locations off the unit.


Within the Hospital, call extension 6-0911
Outside the Hospital, call (212) 746-0911

The Security Department monitors the Hospital and its properties 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Special security measures in the maternity and pediatric areas provide further security for newborns and children during their stay in the Hospital. Please note that anyone entering the Hospital will be asked to show identification.

Parent Identification Badge

To make it easier for parents and guardians to come and go within the Hospital, and to support the Hospital’s security program, an identification badge is provided following your child’s admission. Once your child is settled, you can go to the front desk where your photo will be taken and an ID badge issued. The process takes just a few minutes. The badge will contain your photo and an expiration date based on your child’s estimated length of stay. You should wear this badge whenever you are in the Hospital. Expiration dates will be extended as necessary. Grandparents and siblings will receive regular visitor passes.

Patient Escorts

If your child is in the NICU or PICU, he or she may only be escorted to a procedure by a doctor or nurse. A child in the General Pediatrics Unit may be escorted to a procedure by a patient escort who transports patients to and from tests or procedures in other parts of the Hospital.


The Hospital is not responsible for loss or damage to any personal property kept in your child’s room. Please send valuables home with a friend or family member for safekeeping. If this is not possible, contact the Patient Care Director or Security to have the valuables locked in a safe.

Lost and Found

Lost and Found is located in the Security Department in the Annex Building at 523 East 70th Street. Call (212) 746-0911.

No Smoking Policy

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is a completely smoke-free environment — indoors and outdoors. Smoking is prohibited in Hospital buildings, at entrances, on all outside grounds, and in gardens, courtyards, and parking facilities. For information on programs to help you stop smoking, visit the Hospital’s website at

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