Banned From the Hospital … What Not to Give


ORLANDO. (Ivanhoe) — Weapons, drugs, alcohol are all things that we know are banned from many places, including hospitals. However, hospitals might also be banning some popular get-well-soon gifts. Here are some things that may pose an unexpected threat to some patients.

Due to concerns about infections, most intensive care units do not allow flowers. Fresh, dried, and artificial flowers are also banned from some nurseries, delivery areas, orthopedic wings, and transplant and cancer patient rooms. Flowers can also pose a slip and fall risk if water spills.

They may bring joy to many kids but some hospitals are banning latex balloons from pediatric units due to possible latex allergies. Also how about stuffed animals? Nope. Sewn-on buttons and beads on these unwelcomed visitors are potential choking hazards.

Plants may be banned as well. It is recommended that plants be kept away from patients with compromised immune systems because the plant may harbor mold.

So, what can be given as a gift? Try cards and books. But to be on the safe side, it may be a good idea to check a hospital’s visitor policy beforehand.

Food can also pose a problem due to a roommate having food allergies or dietary restrictions.  Most children’s hospitals do not allow food gifts without prior approval.

Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.


REPORT #2377

When visiting family or friends in a hospital, the first thing we may think of is bringing a gift; but did you know some of these can cause more harm than good? Some healthcare facilities are being stricter when it comes to get-well-soon gifts since they can cause infections, allergies, and other risks. According to the CDC, on any given day, one in 25 hospital patients will develop an infection. 


WHAT IS HAZERDOUS: What you can or can’t bring will depend on each hospital and their own risk assessment. Big hospitals may band certain items, whereas, small facilities may not. Either way, here are some items that you should consider not bringing to a hospital since they can be a risk to your loved ones and other patients:

  • Flowers; because they can cause infections, allergies, and slip-and-fall risks if water falls. Most flowers whether they are fresh, dried or artificial are banned from intensive-care units, nurseries, delivery areas, orthopedic wings, and transplant and cancer patient rooms.
  • Balloons may be banned because they can cause latex allergies in patients; but, balloons made of mylar may be good replacements. Nevertheless, avoid bringing a balloon as a gift, since the strings may get tangled with equipment and they can be a barrier between the patient and care-team in the time of an emergency.
  • Food is hazardous too because they can create allergies for the patient or their roommates. Ask for approval from a nursing supervisor before bringing food to the floor.
  • Stuffed animals can be treacherous if they have eyes, noses, buttons or beads that very young patients could pull off and swallow.
  • Cellphones may also be banned from ICU’s and high-tech areas since they can cause interference with medical equipment.


WHAT YOU CAN BRING: You can never go wrong with a card or book as a get-better gift, but remember that those can contain bacteria as well. Before even going to the hospital check the hospital’s visitor policy to check what is and isn’t banned.


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Check with your local hospital on visitor policies

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