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SickKids

Virtual Urgent Care

The SickKids virtual urgent care program offers a new way to get medical advice or care remotely using technology, such as a computer or smartphone. Answer some short questions about you or your child using the symptom checker and you will be connected to the most appropriate care setting based on the information provided. This may include a virtual urgent care visit with a member of the SickKids Emergency Department clinical team, a recommendation to visit a primary care provider in your community along with educational information to assist you, or you may be directed to your local emergency department. The secure platform is available on any smartphone, tablet or computer with internet.

If you or your child are experiencing a medical emergency, please immediately visit your local emergency department or call 911.

Virtual urgent care is for non-emergency situations.

Call your/your child’s primary care provider (paediatrician/family physician/nurse practitioner) right away if your child shows any of the following symptoms. If you can't reach a primary care provider, take your child to your local emergency department right away.

  • When your child has diarrhea and vomiting, and has no tears, dry mouth, or is not peeing.
  • When your baby under three months of age has a fever over 38oC or 100.4oF.
  • When your child has difficulty breathing.
  • When your child develops a rash that does not turn white when you push on it.
  • When your child has a fever and/or is difficult to wake up or is very sleepy.
  • When your child has a significant fall/injury.

The symptom checker is available 24/7 to patients under the age of 18 to help determine if your concern needs an emergency department visit or could be treated by your primary care provider.

When you begin your virtual urgent care experience a new web page will open where you will be asked to fill in your/your child’s name and other information. Next you will be able to select a concern from a list and include a secondary symptom (e.g. fever). Using this information, the built-in symptom checker will guide you to the most appropriate care setting based on the information provided. This may include:

  • A recommendation to visit your primary care provider (paediatrician, family physician, nurse practitioner), along with educational supports to manage your concern
  • A recommendation to visit your local emergency department
  • A virtual urgent care visit with a member of the SickKids Emergency Department clinical team, for those who are eligible

Please note: There are three requirements currently in place to be eligible for a virtual urgent care visit with a member of the SickKids Emergency Department clinical team. Virtual urgent care visits are available between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. to patients under the age of 18. To be eligible for a virtual urgent care visit, you or your child/youth must meet all three of the following:

These requirements are in place during the initial launch phase. In the future, new features will be added to the program and access will be expanded to more children and youth.

If you do not meet all of the eligibility criteria, you may still use the symptom checker (for patients under the age of 18).

Begin your virtual urgent care experience.

Launch Virtual Urgent Care

Learn more about virtual care

Get information on how to prepare and what to expect during a virtual appointment.

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MyChart

Securely access you or your child’s SickKids health records online.

Virtual Clinic Visits

Not looking for urgent care? Get information about how to prepare for a virtual clinic appointment at SickKids.

Frequently asked questions

The SickKids virtual urgent care program offers a new way to get medical advice or care remotely using technology, such as a computer or smartphone. Answer some short questions about you or your child/youth using the symptom checker and you will be connected to the most appropriate care setting based on the information provided. This may include a virtual urgent care visit with a member of the SickKids Emergency Department clinical team, a recommendation to visit a primary care provider in your community along with educational information to assist you, or you may be directed to your local emergency department. This secure program is available on any smartphone, tablet or computer with internet.

The symptom checker is available 24/7 to children under the age of 18 to help determine if your concern needs an emergency department visit or could be treated by your primary care provider.  

Some children will be eligible for a virtual urgent care visit with a member of the SickKids Emergency Department clinical team, available through videoconference from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. 

The symptom checker tool will allow you to select your primary concern from a list. You will then select a secondary symptom. Based on these two choices the symptom checker will let you know if you either:

  • need to visit your local emergency department, or
  • need to visit your paediatrician, family physician or nurse practitioner. Educational material from AboutKidsHealth will be shared so you can learn more about your concern.

Some users will be eligible for a virtual urgent care visit. 

If you do not see your concern on the list in the symptom checker and you need immediate care, please contact or visit your primary care provider or local emergency department.

Virtual urgent care visits, available by live videoconference from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., are currently only available to children and youth under the age of 18 who meet the following criteria:

  1. have previously received care at SickKids;
  2. currently live in our virtual urgent care service region (PDF); and
  3. have an OHIP health card

These requirements are currently in place during the initial launch phase.

In the future, new features will be added to the program and access will be expanded to more children and youth.

To check if you can access a virtual urgent care visit, launch the platform, indicate that you have received care at SickKids previously, then fill in the required information as it appears on your OHIP health card. We need the information as it appears on your health card because this is how the virtual urgent care platform will match your health record in our database.

A virtual urgent care visit is like seeking care from an emergency care provider in an emergency room, but virtually from your smartphone, tablet or computer. You will enter your personal information including your email and phone number and you will enter a virtual waiting room. You will then receive an email and/or text message when the member of the SickKids Emergency Department clinical team is ready to start your virtual urgent care visit and you will be able to receive convenient, high-quality care to address your/your child's non-emergency needs.

You will need your smartphone, tablet or computer, as well as cellular service or an internet connection. Note that the strength of your internet connection can affect the quality of audio and video. Both Apple and Android devices are supported; Chrome and Safari are the recommended web browsers.

When prompted, make sure to enable access to your camera and microphone. Pop-ups need to be enabled on your browser settings.

For more technology support refer to the technical FAQs (PDF). 

If you are experiencing technical difficulties joining your virtual urgent care visit please call 416-813-8046.

For people who are eligible for a virtual urgent care visit, it may take a couple of hours if our virtual urgent care platform is busy. The clinical team member will text and/or email you when they are ready to start the virtual urgent care visit with you or your child.

Yes, you may invite other people such as family members or caregivers to join your virtual urgent care visit. This option will be available in the virtual waiting room. You will need a phone number or email address for each person you invite.

SickKids does not charge a fee for using virtual urgent care visits, but you could be charged by your internet or cellular service provider for data use depending on your plan.

Your privacy is very important to us and SickKids has taken all the necessary steps to ensure any information you provide when using our virtual urgent care platform is secure.

You will have the option to participate in research studies with SickKids staff, which will help improve care for all children. You do not have to say yes if you do not want to participate. You will still be able to use our virtual urgent care platform if you do not want to participate. If you want to participate, you can choose your preferred method for us to contact you and our research team will be in touch to tell you more.

Please share your feedback with us by completing our survey.

Educational resources

About Kids Health logo

AboutKidsHealth is a health education website for children, youth and their caregivers, with trusted answers from SickKids experts. Learn about common conditions and injuries often treated in the Emergency Department Learning Hub.

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