After Hours Program

The After Hours Program (AHP) is a telephone triage service that’s available when your child’s primary care location is closed. It is staffed by specially trained pediatric nurses who provide assessment and advice for parents concerned about a sick or injured child. Whether your child has a fever, a cough, or another health problem, an After Hours nurse can help you determine the correct care for your child.

How to call the After Hours Program

To reach an After Hours nurse, call your primary care physician or nurse practitioner. If the office staff is not available, you will be prompted to select an option to have your call transferred to an After Hours intake representative at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The After Hours staff is available evenings, nights, weekends and holidays.

You might also choose to visit one of CHOP's pediatric Urgent Care Center.

When to call the After Hours Program

Please do not call the After Hours Program for the following:

  • Routine appointments
  • Routine medication refills (except for rescue breathing medication)
  • Referrals to sub specialists

The most common reasons for calls to the AHP are:



Unless a rash is actually seen, it is difficult to correctly diagnose the cause. The information below will help you decide if you need to make an appointment with your pediatrician.

Ear Pain



Fussy/Crying Baby

There are few things as frustrating as seeing your baby cry and feeling as though there is nothing that you can do to help. Some causes include:

  • Colic (usually if the baby is younger than 4 months)
  • Teething (usually if the baby is older than 4 months)

Belly Pain


Poisonings or Ingestions

If you suspect that your child has ingested something dangerous (unintended medication, a dose of medication that is too high, a poison, etc.) please call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.


Please call the After Hours Program if you have questions about a potential injury that your child may have sustained.

Next Steps