Smart Choices: 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.


Download "When should you seek emergency care?" pamphlet in any of the 16 languages available here.

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

  • 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.
  • If you don't have a family doctor, or your family doctor is not available, consult the below map of Network Clinics offering medical consultations on the same or next day. Please call the clinic beforehand to inquire about an appointment before hand. 
  • 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.
  • Also through 8-1-1, the "One Call, One Service" initiative aims to provide better access to first line care for young people aged 0 to 17. In the Greater Montreal area, if a need for consultation is confirmed, the patient will be directly transferred to a call centre that will guide him or her to the right resources to obtain service from a doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

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.

Winter clinics are back!

Winter clinics are set up from December to March in various resources in the health and social services network to treat flu or gastroenteritis symptoms, any other non-urgent health problems or to get psychosocial help. These clinics offer additional medical consultations by adding operating hours and staff to their regular schedule, in particular in the evening and on the weekend. This allows them to meet the population’s increased consultation needs during the winter, a time of year that is conducive to the circulation of certain viruses. Find a winter clinic nearest you.

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.