Children's Emergency

Our Children’s Emergency Department (ED) provides urgent care and treatment for children aged from birth to 16 years when they become seriously unwell or injured and need urgent medical attention. We provide specialised emergency care 24 hours a day.

Our services

We offer children’s emergency medical services for a wide range of conditions. If your child needs to stay in hospital, we have a Children’s Ward with sleeping facilities for parents and carers.

Your child may meet and be cared for by a variety of staff experienced in paediatric emergency medicine. Our Children’s ED Team includes paediatric emergency physicians, paediatricians, nurses, technicians, patient support assistants and allied health staff including dietitians, physiotherapists, social workers and psychologists.

Surgical conditions such as fractures and orthopaedic injuries and ear nose and throat conditions are assessed and managed by our specialists in emergency. If your child requires surgery or any further specialist care, they will be referred to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

Getting here

We have a designated drop off and pick up zone at the front of the ED with a maximum stay of 20 minutes. Our parking and transport page has more information about long stay parking at the hospital.

How to access this service

This is a public health service. You do not need a referral letter from your doctor to access this service.

What to bring

Each time you visit us
  • Your Medicare card
  • Private health insurance card (if you have one)
  • Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
  • Current medications (prescription, over the counter and herbal medicine)
  • Relevant x-rays, scans or any other test results or reports
  • Glasses, hearing aids and mobility aids
  • your sleep equipment – machine and accessories (CPAP or bilevel)
  • Your baby’s Red Book (Personal Child Health Record)
  • Discharge information from previous admissions
Staying overnight or longer
  • A dressing gown or cardigan, sleepwear or comfortable day clothes
  • Slippers and shoes (low heel, closed-in, non-slip, adjustable and firm fitting around the foot)
  • Your toiletries and personal items
  • Copy of Advanced Healthcare Directive or Enduring Power of Attorney if you have one
  • Something to read or do during your stay
  • Medical devices required for your care (e.g. CPAP machine)
  • Do not bring large amounts of cash or valuables such as jewellery, watches or other items of value to you
  • Medications that are due whilst admitted for your sleep study
  • A comfort item like a toy or blanket
  • Books or favourite activity

When you arrive

On arrival, an experienced emergency nurse will assess and triage your child’s condition. We try our best to see every patient within a timely manner. Some children who are more unwell may be seen ahead of your child and this may result in an unpredictable waiting period. We ask that you be patient while we deliver the best possible care to all our patients. If your child’s condition worsens or if you have any concerns about your child’s health, please alert the nurse.

Appropriate behaviour

The safety of our staff and children is top priority. In accordance with Queensland Health policy, we do not tolerate any form of aggressive or abusive behaviour. Any audio or visual recording without permission is strictly prohibited.

Research in Children’s ED

In the ED it is a priority to conduct research that will improve the health and healthcare of Queenslanders . You may be asked if you would like your child to participate in research. You will have time to read about the research and ask questions. Involvement in research is voluntary and you may withdraw your child from participation at any time.

Discharge and follow-up care

Before discharge, you will receive a GP letter detailing your child’s medical condition and appropriate follow up plan. Your child may also be given a prescription for medication or a referral letter to another specialist.

Frequently asked questions

We welcome and encourage you to bring your sick child to emergency if they need urgent care. If your child does not need urgent care, visit your local doctor or an after-hours medical centre. This may mean a shorter waiting period and allows you to see the same doctor for better continuity of care.

There are also phone and web services available:

  • 13 HEALTH is a Queensland Health hotline for advice on healthcare matters 24 hours a day
  • Queensland Poisons Information Centre for advice on poisoning incidents 24 hours a day, contact 13 11 26
  • Lifeline is a confidential crisis support service operating 24 hours a day, call 13 11 14 (calls from mobiles are free)
  • Kids Helpline is a free, confidential phone counselling service for young people aged 5-25
  • 1300 MH CALL (1300 64 22 55) for mental health assistance.
  • Parentline provides counselling and support for parents and carers in Queensland and the Northern Territory, call 1300 30 1300 or email

Certain tests or procedures require patients to fast, which means no eating or drinking. Please encourage your child not to eat or drink before they are seen by our medical or nursing staff. If your child has a medical condition that prevents them from fasting, please speak to staff.

In Children’s ED, parents will stay with their child at all times. We understand the importance of support from family and friends during this difficult time. Sometimes, we may need to limit the number of visitors in the ED due to overcrowding. This will ensure your child receives the best possible care.

The National Health Service Directory provides information about which GPs, Pharmacists etc are open now. This can be helpful to identify GPs open in evenings and at weekends.

Go to, type in your post code or suburb, and Click on “Open Now” tab  to find the services open now in your area. You will need to call if they have any appointments available before visiting them.

Contact us

Children's Emergency
Location: Ground floor, Main Building, The Prince Charles Hospital
Phone: (07) 3139 4000
Open: 24/7

Need help outside hours?

For non-urgent medical issues call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit your GP.

In an emergency call 000.

Refer a patient

GPs and specialists in the community and in other hospitals can refer children by sending them directly to Children’s ED with a referral letter.

Health professionals

Over 26,000 children visit our Children’s ED with nearly 18% of patients admitted to the hospital from emergency each year. We are one of the busiest Children’s EDs in Queensland, treating patients from Brisbane’s northern suburbs. We have:

  • resuscitation facilities are available, including an ED radiology suite
  • 12 acute beds including an isolation room and a procedural sedation room
  • 6 short stay beds
  • plaster room
  • 1 treatment room
  • simulation facilities
  • social work support
  • physiotherapy support
  • radiology (x-ray, CT, ultrasound) next to the department
  • general paediatrics inpatient and outpatient services.
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