Children’s Health

November 16-22 is Digital Health Week in Canada. To help mark this special week, we are teaming up with Children’s Healthcare Canada for a special HCLDR tweetchat on Tuesday November 17th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here).

The topic they have chosen is one that is near and dear to every parent’s heart – the state of children’s health. Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom were recently ranked by UNICEF in the bottom tier of child health. To put it mildly, this is embarrassing.

The team of @childhealthcan @CIHR_IHDCYH @UNICEFCanada and @PedChairsCan will lead the community in a discussion on what we can collectively do to remedy this situation.

Hope to see you.

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For the last nine months, Canada’s attention has been squarely focused on mitigating the many short and long term impacts of COVID-19. The federal government has literally spent  billions of dollars to protect Canada’s financial, emotional and physical health. But amidst all of the policy discussions to date, one group has been left behind: our children.

While children have not been the face of this pandemic, they are positioned to be amongst its most significant victims. According to polling from Abacus Data (August 2020), 70% of Canadians expect the pandemic to have long-term effects on children, and 62% feel the pandemic has negatively impacted children by increasing the inequality between families based on household income and wealth.

But the truth is that Canadian children and youth were being left behind far before the arrival of COVID-19, and now things are only getting worse. Children in every region of the country are experiencing food insecurity, high rates of infant mortality and critical wait times for essential physical and mental healthcare services. The UNICEF 2020 Report Card indicates that Canada ranks 30th out of 38 countries based on measures of children’s mental and physical health, education, rates of suicide, life satisfaction, child mortality, obesity, educational achievements and social skills.

The time has come to finally make children a priority and position them at the centre of our vision for a stronger, healthier, bolder future for Canada.

Inspiring Healthy Futures: #WeCANforKids is a new pan-Canadian collaborative sponsored by CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, Children’s Healthcare Canada, Pediatric Chairs of Canada, and UNICEF Canada. The goal of #WeCANforKids is to measurably improve health and wellbeing outcomes for children, youth and families. Join #HCLDR and #WeCANforKids on November 17th at 8:30pm ET to share your take on where we need to focus our collective efforts relative to child health research, innovation in healthcare delivery, training of future healthcare professionals, and public policy to improve outcomes for all children, youth and families and steer Canada (and other countries) back to a position of leadership.

  • T1 When you think about a population of healthy, vibrant children and youth, what are the conditions for success?
  • T2 What has #COVID19 taught us about what is most important for the health and well being of kids, youth and families?
  • T3 If you could send one message to governments across the world about what’s important for the wellbeing of kids, youth and families, what would it be?
  • T4 What should social services, government & education focus on to support parents, kids and youth? What is the ideal collaboration here?

About Children’s Healthcare Canada

For Canadian leaders in children’s healthcare, we are the only national association that enables local improvements and contributes to system-wide change by building communities across the full continuum of care. Our members deliver health services to children and youth, and include regional health authorities, children’s tertiary/quaternary and rehabilitation hospitals, community hospitals, children’s treatment centres and home/respite care providers.

Image Credit

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

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