The Children's Hospital Group have seen "particularly high" attendances
Three children's hospitals in Dublin are asking families to stay away, unless it is absolutely necessary to attend.
Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin, Temple Street Children's University Hospital and the National Children's Hospital, Tallaght say they have experienced an increase in emergency department attendances and admissions to inpatient beds.
It adds that this week has seen particularly high levels of activity.
The hospitals say there has also been an increase in young children and infants presenting with respiratory infections, in particular a viral infection known as RSV (Respiratory Syncitial Virus).
While this happens every winter, it says the increase in presentations "has been more dramatic" this season.
The Children's Hospital Group says: "Some babies and children with this virus can become very unwell requiring supportive treatment and prolonged hospital admissions.
"Based on previous infection control data it is anticipated that this virus will continue to be at peak levels for the next three to four weeks."
The three children's emergency department are open - however patients attending may experience longer delays.
The hospitals says they are working closely with the clinical directors and hospital management to ensure every effort is made to manage the situation.
But they are are asking families to first go to their GP or Out of Hours GP service, to reduce attendances to the emergency departments in the three hospitals.
The hospitals also say this respiratory virus will remain at peak for the next three to four weeks.
They are advising parents/guardians to avoid bringing very small babies to social events where they may pick up an infection.