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About Sickkids
About SickKids

December 11, 2014

SickKids’ Emergency Department prepares for the busy holiday season

TORONTO – December is historically the busiest month in the Emergency Department at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

Many problems such as ear aches, flu, colds and low-grade fever (less than 39 º or 102 º F) do not require a response from a hospital-based emergency team and can be looked after by a family physician, community paediatrician or staff in a walk-in clinic.

To avoid long wait times in the Emergency Department this holiday season, SickKids offers the following suggestions:

  • Parents are urged to see their family physician as first choice.
  • A medical walk-in clinic is also a good alternative if your family physician is not available. The child will be referred to SickKids if necessary.
  • Seriously ill children should be taken to the Emergency Department closest to home.
  • Call 911 immediately if a child is choking or having difficulty breathing.
  • If you are worried that your child has ingested something hazardous, call the Ontario  Poison Centre, which operates 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, at 1-800-268-9027.
  • You can also call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

One of the reasons the Emergency Department is busy in the month of December is due to increased respiratory illness such as influenza. The best way to protect yourself this season is to get the flu shot and practice good hand hygiene.

For more information on the flu shot visit https://www.ontario.ca/health-and-wellness/get-flu-shot/