Some hospitals ban flowers, balloons

Some hospitals are banning flowers, plants, stuffed animals and balloons of any kind. The reason: concerns about infection and allergic reactions. The facilities are using guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital prohibits flowers and plants in intensive care units, operating and recovery rooms, nurseries, labor and delivery suites and in oncology and transplant units.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and NYU Langone, the rules are basically the same.  However, at NYU Langone balloons are not allowed in patient care areas "because the strings can get tangled in equipment, such as IV poles, or create a barrier between the patient and the clinical team."

Experts say the best advice is before you buy the stuffed animals, flowers or balloons check with the nursing staff to see what is allowed or better yet, check the hospital's website and the policy is available there.