Yes, it’s safe to bring your child to the emergency: Montreal Children’s Hospital

Montreal Children’s Hospital shows off re-vamped emergency department
WATCH: The Montreal Children's Hospital wants to encourage families to bring their children in for care, rather than waiting until a child becomes extremely ill. As Global's Felicia Parrillo explains, new measures have been put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

When Laura Campanelli had to bring her newborn to the Montreal Children’s Hospital a few weeks ago, she was hesitant.

“It’s definitely something that I had a lot of apprehension about — I didn’t want to go at all at the beginning,” she said.

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The mother of three says she was advised to bring her son to the Children’s emergency department for a blood test to check for jaundice. And like many parents, she was worried about potentially exposing her infant and herself to the novel coronavirus.

But she says when she arrived at the hospital, those fears disappeared.

“I really felt like they were taking the proper precautions to protect the kids and to protect the parents,” said Campanelli.

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Once you arrive at the hospital, you’re immediately greeted by a security guard. You’re asked to wash your hands and put on a mask.

Once inside, a pre-triage nurse asks a series of questions, including questions about COVID-19.

The family is then given color-coded bracelets and sent to a designated zone in the emergency department.

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“The child will either be put in a waiting room or put in a room immediately, will be seen by a nurse first, by the medical team, or a physician,” said Dr. Laurie Plotnick, medical director of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Emergency Department.

The department’s transformation has been in the works since January when COVID-19 was starting to emerge outside of China.

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The hospital wants parents to know that if their child needs emergency care, whether it has to do with the virus or not, the hospital is certainly a safe space to bring them.

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“We don’t want families to stay at home if they are concerned about their children,” said Plotnick.

“We want them to come in because children can get sicker and it can become more dangerous.”

The hospital says the emergency department’s new look will be in effect at least until the fall.