Special Visitors to Kentucky Children's Hospital

We are pleased you are interested in visiting Kentucky Children's Hospital. Special entertainment such as a puppet show, musical performance or celebrity visit can brighten the day of hospitalized children and their families.

Guidelines for special visits

All special visitors to Kentucky Children’s Hospital should follow the below guidelines when planning and providing activities and events for patients and their families. Applications for Special Visitors should be requested at least 4 weeks prior to visits by emailing request to KCHChildlife@uky.edu.

  • All entertainers and/or special visitors must be screened and pre-approved by the Child Life Department prior to visiting Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
  • Groups or individuals who have not received pre-approval prior to visiting will not be permitted.
  • In order to not intimidate children, visiting groups will be limited to no larger than 6 to 8 individuals.
    • Any special visiting participants must be at least 18 years of age or older. Visitors between ages of 15 and 18 years may participate in performances only.
  • Each visitor must guarantee that they are free of fever, rash diarrhea, and vomiting for 5 days prior to any visit. Special visitors who have been exposed to any communicable viruses such as chicken pox and measles within 3 weeks of visit will not be allowed to visit.
  • Entertainers and special visitors will be scheduled during the following days, times: Mondays through Fridays at 10am or 3pm. Generally, only one entertainer or community group will be scheduled each day.
  • Costumed Characters must meet the same criteria as entertainers and special visitors.
    • Preference will be given to costumed characters who are professional representatives of a company and/or product (i.e. Disney, Scholastic University mascots, etc).
    • Holiday related costumed characters, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, etc, will be restricted to one or two visits during the holiday season in order to prevent any confusion amongst the children.
  • Special visitors should check in at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Information Desk located on the 4th floor of Chandler Hospital.

Event/performance guidelines

  • Due to children’s attention spans and treatment schedules, any performances should not exceed 25 minutes. All special events will be limited to no longer than 2 hours.
  • Subject matter of any special visit should be non-threatening to young patients and should avoid the following:
    • Themes dealing with painful medical procedures.
    • Themes dealing with violence, death and/or monsters.
    • Any fully painted faces as this may be frightening to small children.
    • Animals of any kind. (Only those pets cleared through Volunteer Services and certified will be allowed to visit).
    • Activities that involve food or candy.
    • Activities that involve produce or live plants.
  • All visitors to the hospital will always be supervised by a Child Life staff person or hospital representative during any visitation to Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Please follow the instructions of your supervising staff person during your visit to help keep our patient’s safe.
  • Entertainers/special visitors who interact with patients should respect their privacy and confidentiality during interactions. Please refrain from asking questions about the child’s appearance, illness or any other personal information that may be consider confidential.
  • Each group member should give his or her attention to the patients, not to other members of the group, the television, or other distractions found in the hospital.
  • Each member should be enthusiastic and positive during interactions with kids and families.
  • Photos and/or videos of patients and families cannot be taken during a special visit due to patient confidentiality guidelines.

Donations/gifts from special visitors

If your special event includes giveaways or gifts for patients and families, please refer to the below guidelines. All items given to patients and families will be checked by the Child Life staff person for safety and appropriateness prior to giving out.

  • All giveaways or gifts should be new and unwrapped.
  • Giveaways and gifts should be age appropriate and safe for patients of all ages. We estimate approximately 10 to 15 gifts are needed for each age group of children (infants/ toddlers, preschool, school age and teens).
  • Any extra gifts can be added to our gift back which provides special items for hospitalized children during the holiday, birthday or other special occasions throughout the year.

See more information about donations to KCH.