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Seeking Medical Care for your Child

Advice for seeking routine and emergency medical care for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last updated: December 9, 2021


Getting routine and emergency medical care for your child is important for their health and wellbeing. Offices, clinics and hospitals have procedures in place to prevent COVID-19. 

Keep all immunizations up-to-date for your child, including flu vaccines. You do not have to delay flu vaccines if your child is getting a COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, speak to your health care provider or community health centre. Find online information at ImmunizeBC.


Click to open this resource from Child Health BC 

For resources in various languages, visit Translated Content.

When to seek emergency medical care

For emergency medical care go to your nearest Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre or call 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number. 

Regardless of whether you or your child have COVID-19, seek emergency medical care if your child: 

  • Has trouble breathing, has quick or irregular breathing, or makes grunting sounds
  • Has blue lips or skin, or is very pale
  • Loses consciousness, is not responsive or does not respond like they usually do
  • Is an infant and is not feeding, is vomiting (throwing up) and/or has diarrhea AND has no tears, dry mouth or is 
  • Not passing urine (pee)
  • Is younger than three months old and has a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or higher
  • Is having a seizure
  • Has a severe burn
  • Has bleeding that does not stop
  • Has painful or swollen testicles, especially in teenagers
  • May be poisoned
  • If your child is thinking about or trying to end their life, get emergency help. Call 9-1-1, local emergency phone number or 1-800-SUICIDE.

Learn more about what to expect when visiting the ER.

When to seek same-day medical care


Call a healthcare provider or visit a walk in clinic. For help 24 hours a day, call 8-1-1 or visit HealthLinkBC.ca. Visit a healthcare provider today if your child:

  • Is more than 3 months old, has a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or higher, seems sleepy, and acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) do not help
  • Has a fever and other signs of illness, like a rash, cough, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Is not eating or drinking well, and is lethargic (low energy), fussy or grumpy
  • Is vomiting a lot, especially if you see blood in it
  • Has diarrhea or is vomiting, is not making tears, and is not passing urine as they normally would. Babies usually pass urine every 3 hours and toddlers every 4-6 hours
  • Has an injured arm or leg that looks swollen, crooked or hurts
  • Has a head injury and loses consciousness, vomits, or does not respond like they usually do
  • Has blood in their stool (poo) or urine
  • Has been sick, is getting worse and you feel worried If you or your child are in danger or feel worried about your safety, get same day medical care. 

Children with medical complexity


Children with medical complexity have the following:
  • Chronic condition(s) that affect multiple parts of the body requiring ongoing management
  • Dependence on technology for daily living (e.g., feeding tube)
  • Increased need for health-care resources (e.g., multiple specialists)
  • Families who need support for the care of children with medical complexity (e.g. At Home Program) 
Read the guidance below for families with children with medical complexity:

Children with disabilities

Find COVID-19 resources below to help you and your child.

Child-Bright Network

  • COVID-19 resources for Canadian youth with disabilities, their families and support teams.
Family Support Institute of BC
  • COVID-19 resources to support families across B.C. who have a family member with a disability.

Sunny Hill Education Resource Centre

  • Support for families with children with neurodevelopmental diagnoses.
Diagnosis specific resources

‎Canadian Association for Community Living
  • Disability-related resources for COVID-19 for families of children with intellectual disabilities.

Resources for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.

Provincial Outreach Program for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Guidance for parents and teachers for children with FASD who are at home during COVID-19.



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