Our hospitals are under pressure. Please be patient with us as wait times may be longer than usual. Read more.

Hamilton Health Sciences Home
May 20, 2022

Increasing number of children being seen at McMaster Children’s Hospital Emergency Department

On May 16, a record number of children (over 230) presented to the MCH ED and visits have been averaging 190/day for the past seven days. This has resulted in longer than normal wait times.

Experts at MCH are asking parents and guardians to consider their care options before making the trip to the ED. Many respiratory illnesses can be safely managed at home with fluids and something to reduce or quell a fever.

“We are seeing multiple different viruses circulating in the community at the same time right now, some causing very high fevers,” says Dr. Christopher Sulowski, chief of the pediatric emergency department at MCH. “These high fevers don’t always necessitate a trip to the emergency department. Instead, keep kids hydrated and comfortable with medications.”

As always, if you think your child is having a medical emergency call 9-1-1 right away. Mild symptoms and injuries can often be treated at home or by a family doctor. Urgent care may also be an option. Visit NeedADoc.ca to learn more about healthcare options in Hamilton for kids and adults.

Families who visit the MCH ED may face long wait times. As a reminder, children are prioritized to be seen based on the severity of their condition. We’re asking for patience as our teams do their best to care for all patients and their families.