For immediate attention call 911

Our Pediatric Emergency Department provides the highest quality patient centered care for patients with emergent, urgent, non-urgent medical or surgical needs.   Our state of the art, child-friendly unit is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we provide care for children ranging in age from infancy through the age of 21 years.  Our department continues to grow every year, and we treated over 33,000 patients last year alone.

In addition to our facility here at the Joseph M Sanzari Children’s Hospital, we also operate a free-standing pediatric emergency department at Hackensack University Medical Center at Pascack Valley between the hours of 11a.m. and 11 p.m.  The same highly skilled staff that would care for your child at the Hackensack campus provides the care at this location. 

Pediatric Emergency Department live wait times



Our Pediatric Emergency Department is managed and staffed by highly qualified and specially trained nurses, Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) and physicians.  These healthcare professionals have extensive experience in caring for children and young adults with emergency needs which may range from minor injuries to critical care.  Our pediatric emergency physicians are in the department 24/7, and are board-certified or board-eligible in pediatrics, with many of them also board-certified in pediatric emergency medicine. Our Advanced Practice Nurses work along with our physicians to evaluate and manage the care of our patients

Many of our Magnet award-winning nurses are certified in pediatric nursing or pediatric emergency nursing and all are certified in pediatric trauma care and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).  Our staff nurses, APNS and physicians also attend ongoing education in the field of pediatric emergency medicine.

Our medical/nursing staff works closely with social workers and child-life specialists, who help to reduce stress and anxiety by encouraging effective coping strategies for children and their families who are dealing with stressful situations.

There are many Pediatric subspecialist services from the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital who are available to the pediatric emergency department physicians for consultation.  Our pediatric emergency medicine physicians and subspecialists will interact closely with your child’s primary care physician to provide appropriate acute care and follow-up care.



All of the Pediatric Emergency Department’s facilities have been designed to be child-friendly and comfortable. The department consists of a separate pediatric waiting area, pediatric treatment areas, pediatric trauma bay, pediatric resuscitation room, two isolation rooms with private bathrooms, a procedure room, and specialized rooms for orthopedic and gynecologic, assessment and treatment. All of our beds feature central monitoring so that our physicians and nurses can keep apprised of each child’s vital signs and medical condition at all times. Each treatment area is equipped with a television and telephone. If your child is allowed to eat, we will provide a meal or a snack as appropriate.   


Educational Programs

From time to time, the Pediatric Emergency Department and the pediatric trauma center work together to provide educational programs and training to healthcare professionals and the  public on topics of importance, such as the H1N1 virus, teenage driving, or the New Jersey safety helmet laws.

In addition to community education, the physicians play an important role in educating medical students from the medical schools at UMDNJ and St. George’s University, teaching the healthcare professionals of the future.


Emergency Preparedness

The Pediatric Emergency Department actively participates in Emergency Preparedness for not only the Children’s Hospital, but for the Medical Center at large.  Our staff is trained as first receivers following any sort of mass casualty incident, and work with their inpatient and outpatient colleagues to ensure that in the event of a disaster we can mobilize the appropriate response.  Several of our staff members also serve on the medical center’s Emergency Preparedness Committee to development emergency plans and policies in the event of a natural or manmade disaster or medical emergency that would send large numbers of patients to our emergency departments and trauma center.  We also participate in county and state emergency preparedness drills and work with our ETD colleagues to improve our responses and educate the medical center staff. 


Telephone Triage

The pediatric Telephone Triage Program functions as a telephone call center for patients of primary care providers who subscribe to the program. The telephone triage staff answer phone calls requiring pediatric care advice during hours that the pediatrician’s office is closed.

The Telephone Triage Program employs registered nurses experienced in the assessment and treatment of children. The nurse obtains pertinent information related to the chief complaint, past medical history, allergies, and current status to determine the level of medical care necessary.  They give home care advice and follow up with the pediatrician during regular hours, refer them to the nearest emergency department or advise them to call 911.

The nurses utilize computerized, symptom-specific protocols that have been developed by Dr. Barton Schmidt of Children’s Hospital in Denver  and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Registered professional nurses who specialize in pediatric care answer all incoming calls. Depending upon the type and severity of illness, injury, disease, or disorder, the nurse utilizes the Care Advice Guidelines to decide the appropriate intervention, treatment, and disposition.

Upon completion of a call to the Telephone Triage Program, a patient medical record is generated and sent directly to the patient’s primary care provider for review and necessary follow-up.

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