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Special Events

Thank you for your interest in providing a Special Event for the patients at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital as these programs have a special meaning for hospitalized children and adolescents.

Planning Your Special Event Visit

All Special events must be pre-approved and scheduled in advance by the Child Life department. The group contact person will need to complete and return the forms linked below and submit them at least two weeks in advance. If approved your visit will be scheduled and you will receive a confirmation letter with further instructions for the day of your visit. All visitors must be escorted by a UF Health staff person or designated volunteer during the visit.

Special Event Visit Guidelines

  • All members of a special event group must be 18 years or older.
  • Special event groups are limited to six (6) people.
  • Your program should run approximately one hour. Please allow additional time for preparation and clean up. Please do not include any food, beverages, or candy/ gum as part of your special event.
  • The privacy and confidentiality of our patients is of the utmost importance.  This means we do not allow photos or video to be taken by visiting groups or individuals.   (During special circumstances, arrangements can be made with the public relations department at least two weeks in advance with approval from the Child Life department.
  • Remember special events should appeal to a great variety of children and be appropriate to each age group, infant to young adult.
  • Our patients come from a wide variety of religious, political and social backgrounds, we ask that the content of any presentation be religiously and politically neutral.
  • You are expected to give your attention to the patients, not to other members of your group or staff; to be enthusiastic about the activity; and try to include ways for the patients to become actively involved.
  • No glue guns, all art supplies must be non-toxic and washable.
  • Latex balloons are not allowed in the hospital – only Mylar (foil) balloons.
  • Please do not give any type of toy weapon (guns, swords, knives, etc.)
  • Because many of the patients are on restricted diets, please do not bring food items for patients. We suggest you bring crayons, comic books, word games, stickers, etc.
  • You will need to confirm the health of each member of the group. Everyone should be free of colds, sore throats, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cold sores, impetigo, skin rashes, and infected or draining lesions. If anyone has had or been exposed to communicable diseases (measles, mumps, chicken pox) within the last three weeks, they should not come to the hospital.