Scripps Health is joining other hospitals around the country in banning children from coming into their hospitals as visitors. In an announcement released Thursday, Scripps Health said children 14 and under will not be allowed into their facilities unless they have a medical appointment.
A week ago, several hospitals announced restrictions on child visitors. Several local hospitals here said the move was not necessary. UCSD Medical Center said it was not banning younger visitors because the level of infection does not warrant the move.
"As cases of flu continue to increase in San Diego County and elsewhere, we felt it was important that we take appropriate measures to maintain a healthy environment for our patients and staff," said Dr. Brent Eastman, Scripps Chief Medical Officer in a news release. "It is best that those who become ill with influenza stay home and limit their contact with others - particularly hospital patients. We appreciate the community's understanding and support as we do all we can to limit the spread of the flu."
The guidelines are slightly different for the 10 Scripps Clinic and nine Scripps Coastal Medical Center sites.
Rady's Children's Hospital said that in most cases it's advising patients that visiting is only for parents but stopped short of calling it an outright ban.
Palomar Hospital and other facilities in the Palomar Pomerado Health System sent letters to patients suggesting that patients limit the number of visitors to help prevent the further spread of swine flu.