Choosing wisely: where to go for your child’s health problem

The Montreal Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is there for you when your child is very sick and in need of urgent medical treatment. But it’s hard to provide the best possible care when families come to the ED for reasons that are less urgent. We’re asking for your collaboration to ensure that the ED remains available for the urgent treatment of children whose conditions must be addressed immediately.

If your child is not seriously ill, you may seek medical advice in the following ways:

  1. Get in touch with your pediatrician or your family doctor. If you don’t have a family doctor, use the Quebec Family Doctor Finder to look for one.
  2. Call Info-Santé 8-1-1 on your phone any time.  Nurses are available 24/7 to answer questions or concerns regarding your child’s health.
  3. Head to The Children’s Clinic (514-228-4444) located right next to the Montreal Children’s Hospital or a network clinic located near you. Consult this comprehensive list to find your nearest network clinic here. Network clinics have flexible opening hours, are open 365 days a year and can treat ailments like fevers and cold or flu symptoms. They also have radiology and laboratory testing services available on site. Consult a clinic before heading to the Emergency Department for a non-urgent health problem (e.g.: ear ache, flu symptoms, gastroenteritis and fever in children over 3 months old). Please call the clinic beforehand to inquire about an appointment before hand. 

Everyone has a role to play in managing the long waits in the Emergency Department. When your child is ill please consider consulting these other resources before bringing your child to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Not sure whether it's a cold or the flu?

Use the guidelines in this table to help make the best decision for you and your loved ones.