If your child feels ill, a good first step is to contact your primary care provider, or HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1. HealthLinkBC has a translation service for over 130 languages.
If you have an urgent health concern about your child, it helps to know when it’s time to seek treatment at BC Children’s Emergency Department or your local emergency department.
- blue lips and skin that appears pale
- trouble breathing, especially with rapid or laboured breathing patterns
- a persistent high fever for more than three days
- ingested a toxic chemical, including a suspected drug or alcohol overdose
- excessive coughing, especially with a fever
- excessive vomiting, particularly if it is bright green or there is blood in the vomit
- an injured limb that looks swollen or crooked
- fallen more than five feet or 1.5 metres
- started vomiting after a head injury
- a visible bump after a head injury and the child is less than three months old
- lost consciousness
- if your child is thinking about or trying to end their life, get urgent help by calling 9-1-1 or 1-800-SUICIDE.
If you suspect your child might have COVID-19, information about symptoms and where to get tested can be found here. Testing at our site is generally performed at the BC Children’s & BC Women’s Collection Centre instead of the BC Children’s Emergency Department.
If you come to BC Children’s Emergency Department, you can expect to see additional measures in place to protect your child, you and your family and our staff during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These include active screening for COVID-19 symptoms at the entrance and a request to clean your hands. You and your child will also be offered a medical mask to wear. Children aged three and older are also requested to wear a medical mask if they are medically able.
In the Emergency Department, just one adult caregiver or support person is allowed to accompany a child as an infection prevention and control measure during COVID-19.