We Work Together to Save Children's Lives

Emergency Medical Services for Children is the only program in the United States that is focused on pediatric emergency care.

What is EMSC?

EMSC has been working together to save children's lives for over 25 years!

Current Pediatrics

Rise in Children Hospitalized for Fentanyl Exposures  

The Minnesota Poison Control System is reporting an alarming rise in children exposed to opioids, such as fentanyl, in the state. Illegally manufactured fentanyl is often added to other illicit substances – including other opioids – making it difficult for people who use drugs to know what they are ingesting, and to what they may be exposing their children.“Since 2022, the Minnesota Poison Control System has been contacted about 66 children under the age of 3, including those just learning to cruise or that put their hands in their mouths, who have presented to Minnesota hospitals due to exposure to opioids,” explains Dr. Travis Olives, associate medical director for the Minnesota Poison Control System. “All required medical care, and a wide range of symptoms and severity of illness were reported to us. But there are likely many more that were not reported to the Poison Control System.”

Caregivers throughout the state are concerned about these disheartening numbers and understand that no one wants a child to be exposed to a life-threatening substance. They also know that these incidents are probably not intentional. Regardless of the cause of the poisoning, naloxone and rescue breathing can be lifesaving, lifechanging, and intentional.

“It’s essential to keep opioids and other harmful substances away from children and to keep children away from areas and surfaces where they are used,” says Dr. Olives. “Even better, consider getting help for addiction – and do not have or use these substances in locations where they may be accidentally ingested by little ones.”

Most exposures occur when children come into contact with fentanyl in the home.“It’s essential to thoroughly clean any spaces and places where fentanyl or other opioids may be within reach of an infant or toddler – and not leave drugs or other potentially dangerous items within reach.”

Symptoms of opioid exposure include sleepiness or decreased alertness; unresponsiveness, slow, shallow, or altogether absent breathing; vomiting, which may be inhaled if a child is too sleepy to prevent this, pallor or blue-shaded skin (a sign of inadequate breathing); small pupils. Children should always be under the care of someone who is safe and sober in case of any type of emergency.

“If you suspect that a child has been exposed to fentanyl or any other opioids and exhibits any of these symptoms, call 911 and seek medical attention immediately,” says Dr. Olives.

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Rise in children hospitalized for fentanyl exposures reported by Minnesota Poison Control System

The Minnesota Poison Control Center provides exposure management with nationally Certified Specialists in Poison Information to provide poison exposure assessment and management techniques to the general public and health care professionals across the state. The services provided through the national toll-free telephone number (1-800-222-1222) accessible by both voice and TTY and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Contact: Samantha Lee, PharmD, DABAT, BCPSDirector, Minnesota Poison Control SystemSamantha.lee@hcmed.org


Is your agency prepared to handle pediatrics?!?!?!

EMS Peds Preparedness Toolkit

The Pre-hospital Pediatric Readiness Project (PPRP) toolkit empowers EMS agencies – including fire departments that respond to medical 911 calls – to be prepared to provide high-quality care for children in accordance with national recommendations, also known as being “pediatric ready.”

Is your hospital prepared to handle pediatrics?!?!?!

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ED Peds Preparedness Toolkit

Why improve pediatric emergency care?

Children have unique characteristics that require specific care, especially in emergencies. But not all children have access to specialized pediatric care. In fact, 80% of children receive emergency care in general EDs. General EDs primarily treat adults and may not be well-prepared for children. 

Pediatric readiness saves lives.

Improving pediatric readiness is vital. Research shows that high pediatric readiness (>87 points on the NPRP assessment) is associated with:


We Want You to Become a Pediatric Champion!

EMSC MN is seeking individuals that are interested in improving the quality of pediatric care at your EMS agency or hospital. We created a fun little video to explain what a Pediatric Champion is and how to join the team of others.

Check out the video here

Back to School Wellness for Kids

Our summer intern, Natasha, created a blog for families on how to prepare for back to school. final_Back-to-Wellness-BlogDownload Check out the video of this blog on our YouTube Channel.
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Drowning is Preventable

Summer is here and water fun is everywhere! Check out this blog written by Natasha, our EMSC Intern, on how to be safe in and around water. For more information about being a water watcher visit: Water Watchdog – Abbey’s...
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Smartphone app may help detect child abuse early

A new smartphone app may improve early recognition of physical child abuse. By applying an evidence-based strategy, the app can help healthcare providers and social workers evaluate bruising on children younger than 4 years of age and identify cases that...
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Connecting You With Pediatric Emergency Resources

Visit our resources section to learn more about the tools we provide to EMS Providers, Hospitals and community members to ensure children have the best chance of surviving a medical emergency.