The Children's Hospital is a No Hit Zone

A hospital stay is stressful for everyone. Even normal behaviors of children can add to the stress parents may feel. When adults are under stress, strong emotions may surface. They may feel the urge to hit or spank a child in an attempt to control behavior.

We want The Children's Hospital to be a safe place for everyone, and we have designated our hospital as a No Hit Zone. No Hit Zones promote a culture of safety and health for children, adults, families and communities.

Happy toddler and his mother

​What is a No Hit Zone?

In the No Hit Zone, hitting is not allowed for any reason.

  • No child shall hit an adult.
  • No child shall hit another child.
  • No adult shall hit a child.
  • No adult shall hit another adult.

Whether in the hospital or in our day-to-day environments, hitting is not acceptable

Why have a  No Hit Zone?

The No Hit Zone policy is part of what we do to keep our patients and families safe. We believe physical punishment is harmful to children – their bodies and their minds.

  • No Hit Zones support healthy relationships and safe environments across the lifespan. Hitting is harmful to everyone’s physical, emotional and mental health. Hitting is not acceptable; there are ways to avoid and prevent physical violence.
  • No Hit Zones focus on prevention and support during early signs of distress. Our focus is to provide support as a means to prevent hitting. . Supportive intervention can address problems and promote safety.
  • Conflict has a place in all healthy relationships. No Hit Zones promote nonviolent ways to work through conflict, Children learn by watching and interacting with adults. Adults have a responsibility to not only model, but also actively teach positive ways of dealing with conflict.

Tips for parents

  • Talk to your child. Explain how you want them to behave and why.
  • Set clear limits on your child's behaviors. Give clear instructions. Be specific. Be realistic.
  • It is normal for children to become bored when waiting. Bring a favorite toy or activity to help keep your child busy.
  • Read to your child.
  • Engage your child in conversation.
  • Praise your child’s good behaviors.
  • Teach your child how to manage conflict without using violence.
  • Be good to yourself! Being a parent is hard work. Do something you enjoy each day..
  • All parents need help and support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Here’s what we know

  • Hitting and spanking do not teach discipline. They are types of physical punishment.
  • Some believe physical punishment encourages better behavior, but this is not true. In fact, Children who are hit or spanked tend to develop more aggressive and disobedient behaviors over time.
  • Hitting or spanking teaches children that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems.
  • Children who are physically punished may find it more difficult to concentrate and often do poorly in school as a result.
  • Physical punishment has been linked to criminal behavior.
  • Children who are physically punished are more likely to develop physical or mental health problems in adulthood.
  • Children who are physically punished are more likely to distrust others. As a result, they may struggle to build healthy relationships throughout their lives.
  • Parents who use physical punishment are at greater risk of becoming physically abusive with their children.