Staying safe at GOSH and outside the hospital


As we start to reopen some of our clinical services, we’re looking forward to welcoming you back into the hospital.

When you arrive, you may notice that things look or run differently than previously. These extra safety measures – from social distancing starfish to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) – have been put in place to protect everyone at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). 

But we know for some children and young people (and adults!), it can be tricky to remember all the important steps to follow. That’s why we, working with our infection control and play experts, GOSH parents Claire and Rob, and GOSH Charity, have created The Stay Safe Guide for Little Octopuses -- a fun and accessible video with four easy steps children and young people can follow to stay safe. 

Stay safe with Otto the octopus 

Say hello to Otto, the little octopus. Like all of us, he’s found things a little difficult lately, but he’s learning that there’s lots of things he can do to protect himself and others. Watch Otto’s video to learn four easy steps for staying safe during COVID-19, whether you’re at the shops or visiting GOSH.  

Otto’s four steps  

  1. Keep a safe distance 

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your family.  

At GOSH, friendly starfish floor stickers are helping visitors keep a safe distance from others. As mums, dads and carers may be better at judging safe distances, they should encourage their little octopuses to follow their lead. 

  1. Try not to touch your face 

Some dirt you can see, but some germs are so tiny you can’t see or feel them. Try not to touch your face to stop them spreading.  
Our eyes, nose and mouth are key gateways for germs and viruses to enter our bodies. Sometimes we touch our faces without noticing, so this can be tricky, especially for Otto who has eight arms! Try crossing your arms or putting your hands in your pockets when it’s safe to do so.  

  1. Keep good hand hygiene 

Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser. 

Don’t forget to scrub every bit of your tentacles – that’s thumbs and fingertips for you! Here’s a helpful handwashing video to make sure you don’t miss any spots.  

  1. Use your mask properly 

If you wear mask, make sure it covers your nose, mouth and chin. Try not to touch it while it’s on. Take it off using the loops and clean your hands after you throw it away. 

With only two hands (and not 8 tentacles!), it can be tricky to remove your mask safely. The handy loops mean you can take it off without touching the front where germs may be.  

Find out more useful advice on our coronavirus information hub.