The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at UC Davis Children's Hospital has a specially trained team of professionals experienced in the care of critically ill, injured and unstable children. The PICU has special equipment to monitor and support your child, 24-hour access to laboratory, pharmacy and other support services; and a structured environment to ensure the best care of your child.

Patient information is only given to parents. Please designate a family spokesperson who can share information with other family members and friends.

Preparing your child for a hospital stay »

Family waiting room

This room is located outside the Tower PICU and is for patient families only. Children must be supervised by an adult at all times. This area is used by two intensive care units. At times, it may become necessary to limit family members in this area. Sleeping is prohibited in the waiting area.


Public restrooms are located outside the units.


Visitors may not eat anywhere in the PICU. However, visitors may have a covered drink in patient rooms. If your child is not allowed to drink, please do not have a drink in the room. The cafeteria is located on the ground floor. Ice, water and coffee are available in the PICU. The hospital provides food for patients only.

Visitor information

We understand hour important your relationship with your child is. We want to ensure your child’s safety and allow you to spend as much time together as possible. We also wish to ensure the confidentiality of all of our patients. We therefore have the following visitation rules:

Who can visit the PICU patient?

  • Parents/legal guardians may visit their child 24 hours per day.
  • If parents cannot stay with their child, they may designate others to visit.
  • A maximum of two (2) visitors are allowed in the patient’s room at one time.

Visitors under 18 year of age:

  • must check in with a PICU nurse
  • must be healthy (no fever, cough, cold, rash, diarrhea or other illness)
  • must not have been exposed to chickenpox, measles or any other childhood diseases within the last month
  • must not have received any live vaccines within the past month
  • must be supervised by an adult at all times

If children are left unattended, the police department will be contacted and asked to respond.

How to help the medical team?

  • During procedures or emergencies, the staff may ask parents and visitors to leave the PICU.
  • During daily physician rounds we respect the privacy of all patients. Therefore, we follow special rules during physician rounds.
    • Parents are allowed to enter and exit the PICU for a 5-minute period at the beginning of each hour. During the remainder of the hour, parents must remain in the patient’s room with the door closed or must remain outside of the PICU.
    • Physician rounds generally begin at 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. on Fridays. The time of physicians rounds varies on weekends.
  • Nurses change shift every day between 6:45 and 7:30 a.m. in the mornings and between 6:45 and 7:30 p.m. in the evenings. During these times, visitors may not enter or exit patient rooms.

What limits exist?

  • Visitors may not linger in the PICU hallway.
  • Sleeper chairs are not permitted in the PICU.
  • Parents and visitors are not allowed to lie down in a patient bed or on the floor.

Exceptions to any of these rules will be made on a case-by-case basis considering the patient’s best interests and safety. Exceptions will be made only if agreed upon by both the PICU attending physician and the PICU charge nurse. Exceptions may be altered or rescinded at any time by these two individuals with mutual agreement.


For the safety of our patients, the PICU is locked. To enter you must press the PICU intercom located in the waiting area. A staff member will answer your call and assist you.


We do not have accommodations for parents to sleep at the bedside. If you are from out of town, please see information on low-cost lodging and nearby hotel options.


Public telephones are located in the waiting room outside the PICU. Each patient room has a telephone. You may call the PICU at any time to inquire about your child.


The parking structure entrance is located on Stockton Boulevard. You may buy a parking pass from the parking attendant for $12. This pass will allow you to park for a consecutive five-day period.

Read more about parking » 

Sending mail

Your child will love to receive mail form family and friends. Mail can be sent to the following address:

Your child’s name
c/o UC Davis Children's Hospital
Tower 7 PICU
2315 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95817