Preventing infections

Preventing infections at the Montreal Children’s Hospital

Current as of: September 20, 2023

There are several simple ways to keep yourself, your child and other people safe before, during and after your visit to the Montreal Children’s Hospital to prevent circulation of respiratory viruses, including that of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 


Masks contain respiratory secretions when we talk, cough or sneeze, and they offer protection to the person wearing them from other people’s respiratory secretions.

Here is a table to help you decide if you should put on a mask during your visit:


Any person over the age of two without any symptoms (no rash, no cough, no fever, no gastrointestinal symptoms)

Any person over the age of two with any symptom or recently exposed to someone sick

Child under the age of two years or anyone who cannot wear a mask



(we encourage that you wear a mask in common areas and in crowded spaces)

Required at all times

(except to drink, to eat or to take medication by mouth)

No mask


Mask is recommended when visiting a patient on the Hematology, Oncology and Transplant Unit (B07 North) or a patient who is on an intensive care unit or who may get very sick with COVID-19 or the flu

  1. All common areas of the hospital until in a closed room
  2. In a closed room:
    1. when healthcare workers are present
    2. if the patient has not yet been exposed to the person who is sick


Because some viruses can spread even before we feel sick

Because when we are sick, our respiratory secretions contain viruses or bacteria that can spread to others when we talk, cough or sneeze. Masks help contain those secretions

Family members who are sick and whose presence is not essential should postpone their visit until their symptoms have resolved. Parents and caregivers with symptoms and whose presence is essential should wear a mask, even in closed rooms.

In some situations, the Infection Prevention and Control team may require that masks are universally worn by everyone (for example, in the event of an outbreak on a specific unit). If this is the case, your care team will explain the directives to you.

Healthcare workers may need to wear a mask (along with other protective equipment) in some situations, including when caring for your child or during periods of high viral circulation.

We will continue to make masks available for children and for adults at the entrances to the hospital, in clinics and on care units.

If you have any questions or concerns about our masking policies, please speak with your care team.


Hand hygiene helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria that we may carry on our hands.  

We ask that you and your child perform hand hygiene on arrival, as well as each time that you enter and exit your child’s room or exam room and before and after glove use. Remember that gloves do not replace hand hygiene! 

For most situations, you can use the alcohol-based hand rub. It is highly effective against most viruses and bacteria, including the virus that causes COVID-19. However, when your hands are visibly soiled or if your child is infected with C. difficile or norovirus (the virus that causes gastroenteritis), you should wash your hands with soap and water.

Do not forget to wash your hands with soap and water before and after eating, and after using a restroom!  


Another way you can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses is by staying away from others, especially in crowded areas and in waiting rooms.


Coming to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms puts patients and staff at risk.

Parents and caregivers who test positive for COVID-19 must wait a minimum of ten (10) days before coming to the hospital (some exceptions apply).

We encourage you to talk to your child about the above measures so that they know what to expect. Let them know that their and their family’s health and well-being are our top priority. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.  

If you are worried about COVID-19 or if you have flu-like symptomsgastroenteritis symptoms or symptoms of COVID-19, you can call, from Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 418 644-4545514 644-4545450 644-4545819 644-4545 and 1 877 644-4545 (toll free) elsewhere in Québec. For the hearing impaired (TTY), call 1 800 361 9596 (toll free). For more information, visit

Infection prevention is everyone's business and we thank you for doing your part!