Your Child’s Emergency Department Visit: Philadelphia Campus

Coronavirus Updates

If you or your child develops a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, contact your medical provider immediately. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your or your child's symptoms. They will coordinate safe treatment and testing and get you the care you need. If you feel sick, avoid contact with others and wash hands often with soap and water. Get more information about What to expect at the Main Hospital during COVID-19.

If your child is sick and needs immediate care, you may decide to bring them to the Emergency Department (ED) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Understandably, you are worried about your child, but please know our caring and knowledgeable doctors, nurses and support staff will do everything possible to make sure your child gets the best possible care and treatment.

Getting here

The Emergency Department is located on the first floor of the Main Hospital. The address is 3401 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA, 19104. (At the junction of Civic Center Boulevard, 34th Street and Convention Avenue.) 

Get directions to the ED »

Drop-offs and walk-ins:

If you and your child are dropped off at the Main Hospital, enter through the front doors/main entrance at 3401 Civic Center Blvd. Proceed to the information desk. Staff will direct you to the Emergency Department.

Patients may also be dropped off at the Emergency Department walk-in entrance, which is located in the ambulance bay next to the main entrance. The nearest intersection is Civic Center Boulevard  and East Service Drive. Please note there is no parking in the ambulance bay. After drop-off, security will direct drivers to the parking garage. 

By car and need parking:

If you arrive by car, pull into the driveway by the Hospital’s main entrance at 3401 Civic Center Blvd. Security will direct you to park in the Main Hospital Parking A (underground parking garage). A security attendant is stationed at the entrance to the garage to answer questions.

Once parked, take any elevator to the first floor and proceed to the Emergency Department on that level. Parking is validated at the time of registration. It can also be done later in the visit by the registrar or at the security command center. 

By public transportation:

If you arrive to the Main Hospital by public transit, enter through the front doors/main entrance of the hospital at 3401 Civic Center Blvd. Proceed to the information desk. Staff will direct you to the Emergency Department. 

  • SEPTA buses 30 and 42 drop off right outside the main entrance of the Hospital.
  • The SEPTA Market-Frankford Line 34th Street station is located ½ mile north of the Hospital on 34th St. Walk down 34th St. until you reach the Hospital’s main entrance.
  • Some SEPTA Regional Rail Lines (Airport, Wilmington/Newark, Media/Elwyn) stop at the Penn Medicine Station, located ¼ mile from the Hospital on Convention Ave.

What to expect when you arrive

Children with life-threatening illnesses, such as those who are not breathing, are seen first. Other children are seen in the order in which they arrive. During certain hours of the day (usually evenings), children with less serious problems are sent to a special Urgent Care Area of the Emergency Department. We try to see all patients as quickly as possible. Sometimes there are many patients, and our staff is busy caring for very ill children. At these times, the wait may be an hour or longer.


First, go to the triage nurse in the ED. Follow the signs, or ask someone to direct you. The purpose of triage is to quickly assess your child's needs and to begin planning their care. A nurse will ask you the reason for your visit and examine your child.

In most cases, a nurse will direct you to the registration desk. However, in some cases, your child may need to be seen immediately and a nurse will direct you and your child to an ED treatment room. If this happens, a clerk will come to your child's bedside to register your family.

Registration desk

If you are asked to go to the registration desk, a clerk will ask you for the information needed for your child's chart and will have you sign a consent form for your child to be treated. After you register, please take a seat in the waiting area.

Waiting area

Listen for your child’s name to be called. A nurse will bring you into the ED as soon as a room is available. If you think your child's condition has changed while you are waiting, please tell the triage nurse. 

Patient care in the ED

Once in a patient care room, your child will be examined and evaluated by a team of specially trained nurses and doctors. They will ask questions of you and your child to help manage your child's care in the ED.

Many of the doctors in the ED are training to be pediatricians or emergency specialists. An attending physician will head the medical team that diagnoses and treats your child. There is at least one board-certified pediatric emergency specialist in the ED at all times.

Your child may need to have X-rays, blood tests or see a specialist. Please understand you may have to wait for these results. Our staff will try to make you and your child as comfortable as possible during your wait.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child's treatment, please ask your child’s nurse or doctor. 

Extended Care Area

There are times when it is important to monitor or treat your child for more than a few hours in our Emergency Department. In some cases, your child may be moved to the Extended Care Area adjacent to our main ED. The ED attending physicians will still be responsible for your child's care in this area. If a longer hospitalization is required, your child may be moved to an inpatient room upstairs in the Main Hospital. 

If your child is admitted

Your child’s doctor may decide your child needs longer term care and monitoring. The doctor may admit your child into the hospital. In this case, your child will stay in the ED until they are brought to a hospital room upstairs. Your child’s care will then transfer from the ED doctors and nurses to a medical or surgical team. 

If your child is discharged

In most cases, your child’s ED visit will not lead to a hospital stay. In cases where your child is treated in the ED and then sent home, CHOP clinicians will give you written instructions about your child's home treatment, details about any medications your child may need and when to take them, as well as when and who your child should go to for follow-up care. If medication is needed, we can provide a list of pharmacies open 24 hours a day. 

Next Steps
General Inquiries
Medical Questions/Concerns
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