Dr. Charnish assesses a paediatric patient in the Child and Youth Emergency Zone.
Dr. Michael Charnish, Emergency Physician at MGH, assesses a paediatric patient in the Child and Youth Emergency Zone.

Child and Youth Emergency Zone

Our Child and Youth Emergency Zone is a family-friendly space within the Emergency Department that is designed to treat children and youth 17 years of age and under in East Toronto who need urgent or acute medical care when their paediatrician or family doctor is not available. This includes assessing and treating illness, including cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms, as well as injury, pain or mental health crises.

Patients who visit our Child and Youth Emergency Zone have the opportunity to receive paediatric assessment and treatment, as well as coping supports, in a dedicated space that is physically separate from the hospital’s main Emergency Department. The goal is to make the Emergency Department experience more comfortable for local children, youth and families at a hospital that is close to home.

Location

Our Child and Youth Emergency Zone is located off of Mortimer Street under the Emergency sign. Use the door to the immediate right of the main Emergency Department entrance.

hours

The Child and Youth Emergency Zone is open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Our main Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is always available to anyone – adult or child – who requires urgent or emergent care.

Have you visited our Child and Youth Emergency Zone? Share your experience in a short survey and help us continue to improve urgent paediatric care for our community.

Name
Located off of Mortimer Street under the Emergency sign. Use the door to the immediate right of the main Emergency Department entrance.
Location and Office Hours
Open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Our main Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is always available to anyone – adult or child – who requires urgent or emergent care.

frequently asked questions about the mgh child and youth emergency zone

What should I bring?
  • Your child’s Ontario health card, Interim Federal Health certificate or out-of-province health card. Staff will also see patients with no health coverage.
  • Current, labelled medications your child is taking, including prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.

Despite staff’s best efforts, some visits may take some time. If you are able to, please bring:

  • Beverages and nut-free snacks. (Please speak to staff before feeding your child in case they require a test or treatment where eating and drinking need to be delayed.)
  • Items that comfort your child, such as blankets, stuffies or soothers.
  • Activities such as books, tablets, toys or games.
What happens when I arrive?

Staff will ask you screening questions for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. If you screen positive, you will not be turned away. Staff will do their best to keep patients with possible infectious symptoms in separate areas.

After screening, a triage nurse will see your child. The triage nurse will assess the urgency of your child’s needs by asking you and your child questions. They will also measure your child’s vital signs and weight. The triage nurse may ask your child to take off their jacket and shoes to help with this.

Staff will then register your child for their Child and Youth Emergency Zone visit. They will direct you and your child to a dedicated waiting area where you will wait for your child’s name to be called.

How long will I have to wait?

Wait times vary and are based on the time of a patient’s arrival and the severity and complexity of their medical issue. Staff strive to ensure the time patients wait to receive care is as short as possible.

What supports are you able to provide while I wait?

We understand seeking emergency care for your child or family can be a stressful time. Please let our staff know if they can make your visit easier or more pleasant. They may be able to offer:

  • Coping supports and symptom relief to help with pain, fever or difficulty breathing your child is experiencing.
  • Beverages and nut-free snacks. (Please speak to staff before feeding your child in case they require a test or treatment where eating and drinking need to be delayed.)
  • Diapers and formula.
  • Toys, colouring paper and crayons.
Can my child eat or drink while they wait?

Please speak to staff before giving your child anything to eat or drink in case your child needs a test or treatment that requires an empty stomach. In this case, eating or drinking may need to be delayed.

Who will see my child?

When your child’s name is called in the waiting area, a nurse will further examine your child. A doctor will then examine your child and arrange for the appropriate treatment.

Some children may require tests, like an ultrasound test, or additional assessment by a specialist. This may require an additional wait.

What happens when I take my child home?

The nurse and doctor will explain to you the next steps in your child’s care. They may also give you a prescription, appointment information or other instructions.

If your child’s condition does not improve after you get home, contact your child’s paediatrician or family doctor. If the matter is urgent and your paeditrician or family doctor is not available, we encourage you to come back to the MGH Child and Youth Emergency Zone.

What if my child has to stay in hospital?

The doctor may decide to keep your child in hospital for further care. In this case, your child will be transferred to MGH’s Paediatrics department.

This may require your child to be moved to MGH’s main Emergency Department or another area of the hospital while a room is prepared for them in the Paediatrics department. Staff in the Emergency Department will continue to care for your child until this is done.

 

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