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Keeping Parents in the Developmental Health Loop

woman sitting with her child in her arms, filling out a medical formWe are proud to announce that we have officially launched a parent-friendly discussion aid to complement the enhanced 18-Month well-baby visit. We would like to introduce you to our new web app, known as the 18-Month Well-Baby Visit Planner. Developed in collaboration with the Government of Ontario, the Planner invites parents to explore key topics related to their child’s developmental health and personalize a plan for discussion with you, the health care provider.

Prior to the visit, the parent completes their Visit Plan online, which helps them prioritize issues they might wish to discuss with their child’s health care team. They can learn more about child development and save their Visit Plan to bring it to the visit. The Visit Planner was developed to recognize the integral role of the parent in the success of this visit and provide an efficient and effective way to guide your conversation about development. 

Intended to complement Ontario’s version of the Rourke Baby Record, the Visit Planner guides parents through five topic areas that experts in child development have identified as key areas of healthy child development: Physical Health, Safety, Parenting & Healthy Habits, Motor & Language Skills, and Social & Emotional Development.

Taking only five-to-ten minutes to complete the Visit Planner can truly make a difference in the lives of the children that it is designed to help. By allowing parents to prioritize items for discussion, or add other items that may be of specific concern the Planner helps to ensure that an Enhanced 18-Month Baby Visit is as productive as possible for both the health practitioner and the parent. Additional guidance for parents is found in the form of potential questions to ask around the specific items they may have added to their list.

Encourage parents and guardians to visit our website at before their child’s 18-month visit so that they can play a better-informed role in the discussion of their child’s developmental health. If you make use of an EMR for secure communications with your patients, encourage completion of the Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit Planner by creating an auto reminder with the link 2 weeks prior to their scheduled visit.

Looking for more information for health professionals? Check out our related resources, and free continuing education courses on our web portal dedicated to Ontario's Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit.