Featured Stories

  • Cameron Moore at a BMX race.

    When national BMX champion Cameron Moore was injured during a recent race, an ambulance rushed him to UNC's Pediatric Emergency Department. Aching to get back on the bike and defend his title, Cameron talks about his experience.

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  • Transport Therapists Create Calm in the Skies

    For nearly 30 years, UNC Carolina Air Care has swooped in to provide life-saving support for thousands of adult and pediatric patients. Here we go behind the scenes with Heidi Allen, pediatric respiratory therapist, and follow her and her teammate, Jonathan Lewis, RN, on a high-energy story of pediatric air care.

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  • Level 1 Trauma Center

    The American College of Surgeons has recognized UNC Hospitals as a Level I pediatric trauma center, capable of providing the highest level of expertise in treating critically injured children. That makes N.C. Children's Hospital one of only two children's facilities in the state—and the only one in the Triangle—to receive ACS Level I recognition.

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Emergency care when you need it most.

Pediatric Emergency Care

If your child needs immediate medical attention, call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency room.

Emergency Services Especially for Kids

Find a team with the highest level of skill and expertise in treating critically ill and injured children at UNC Medical Center’s Pediatric Emergency Department. Every year, we provide emergency care to more than 14,000 children, including more than 2,000 with traumatic injuries.

Our Pediatric ED is appointed with all the specialized medical equipment and technology necessary to treat children of all ages, along with child-friendly features and amenities to help ease fear and anxiety. You’ll find:

  • Emergency medical personnel specially trained and experienced in the care of children
  • Expert care to treat the full range of illnesses and injuries, from minor to the most serious
  • Foreign language interpreters
  • Care for psychiatric emergencies
  • Access to the full range of pediatric medical and surgical specialties at N.C. Children’s Hospital as needed

Level I Pediatric Trauma Center

When seconds count, you want the best possible care for your child—and you’ll find it at UNC, the Triangle’s only American College of Surgeons (ACS)-designated Level I pediatric trauma center. Ours is one of only five such centers in the entire Southeast (and 41 in the nation!) to reach this nationally recognized mark of healthcare quality, the highest distinction a trauma center can achieve in the care of children.

Our pediatric trauma team assesses, stabilizes and treats life-threatening issues in the shortest possible time to give your child the best outcome possible.

Emergency Care vs. Urgent Care

If your child’s condition isn’t life-threatening, find fast, cost-effective walk-in care at a UNC Urgent Care center. We treat children ages 4 months and older who experience common conditions, such as:

  • Colds, coughs and sore throats
  • Ear infections
  • Minor cuts and abrasions
  • Sprains and strains
  • Urinary tract infections

24/7 Care for Emergencies

The pediatric ED is open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. If your child needs emergency care outside these hours, s/he will be admitted to UNC Medical Center’s general Emergency Department, where an attending physician who specializes in the care of children is always available.

Your ED Visit: What to Expect

Getting Here

The UNC Medical Center emergency department, including the pediatric ED, is located in the basement level of N.C. Neurosciences Hospital. Free valet parking is available for cars arriving with an emergency room patient or an ambulance.


A nurse will assess your care, and you will be registered by a clerk who will ask for the information needed for your child’s chart, and you’ll sign consent for treatment.

Waiting Area

After you register, you’ll be asked to sit in our specific pediatric waiting area. A nurse will bring you to the ED as soon as a room is available. Children with life-threatening illnesses or injuries receive care first. Other children get attention in the order in which they arrive. We see all patients as quickly as possible.


Once in a patient care room, a team of nurses and doctors will examine and evaluate your child. They’ll ask questions to help assess and manage your child’s care. Your child may need X-rays, blood tests, or attention from a specialist. We’ll make you and your child as comfortable as possible during your wait.

If your child is in the ED for more than a few hours for treatment or monitoring, we may move you to our main emergency department. The ED doctors will still be responsible for your child’s care.

Leaving the ED

Your doctor may decide your child needs to stay in the hospital. In that case, your child will stay in the ED until s/he is admitted as an inpatient. Then, s/he will move to a hospital room.

If your child doesn’t need to stay in the hospital, s/he will be discharged from the ED. The care team will give you written instructions for home treatment, medications, and follow-up care.

Transport for Critically Ill Children

If your child is being transferred to N.C. Children’s Hospital from another hospital, our Carolina Air Care pediatric and neonatal team provides specialized care during transport. The team includes six highly trained nurses and six respiratory therapists. Quick, attentive pediatric transport is available 24/7.

Your child may travel by helicopter or in our pediatric critical care ambulance, designed especially for children and babies. The pediatric ambulance accommodates two stretchers or neonatal isolettes and contains equipment specially sized for children and babies. The interior is painted in hues of yellow and red and offers a built-in DVD player and television to distract children from pain and anxiety during the ride.

Is this an Emergency?

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please dial 911.

Call Today

To contact the Emergency Care office, please call 919-843-7960.

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