Getting it right at 18 months: In support of an enhanced well-baby visit
Evolving neuroscience reveals an ever-strong relationship between children’s earliest development/environment and later life experience, including physical and mental health, school performance and behaviour. Paediatricians, family physicians and other primary care providers need to make the most of well-baby visits—here a focus on an enhanced 18-month visit—to address a widening 'opportunity gap' in Canada. An enhanced visit entails promoting healthier choices and positive parenting to families, using anticipatory guidance and physician-prompt tools, and connecting children and families with local community resources. This statement demonstrates the need for measuring/monitoring key indicators of early childhood health and well-being. It offers specific recommendations to physicians, governments and organizations for a universally established and supported assessment of every Canadian child’s developmental health at 18 months.
Measuring in support of early childhood development
A child’s early experiences and environments have a significant, measurable effect on later life trajectories of health and well-being. Each child’s own world, especially parents and other caregivers, literally sculpts the brain and impacts stress pathways. Effective early childhood interventions exist that can improve adult and societal outcomes. In this statement, the Canadian Paediatric Society calls on federal and provincial/territorial governments to measure and monitor the developmental progress of children in Canada, which can vary widely among communities and demographic groups. The statement explores the objectives for collecting quality information about early child development, its determinants and long-term outcomes. It also examines four approaches to collecting population based, person-specific and longitudinal data, both in young children and later in life. A key outcome of monitoring development is timely intervention. Linking individual data to the home and community levels is a critical step, so that communities and governments can monitor and take actions that support early child development.
Early Years Study 3: Making decisions - Taking action
Families raising young children need all the support they can get. In Canada we are making progress. Mothers are supported with universal pre- and postnatal care. All babies are screened at birth. Newborn home visiting is widespread and family centres are found in most neighbourhoods. It is between the end of parental leave and the beginning of schooling that supports break down and public policy is confused about what to do. Ensuring that all young children enjoy the best preschool that we can devise is Canada’s unfinished business. This report is intended to show where we are, what we know and what we can do to finish the job.
Evidence to Support the 18-Month Well-Baby Visit - Clinical Report
Evidence to Support the 18-Month Well-Baby Visit - Clinical Report Ontario College of Family Physicians and Guidelines Advisory Committee final report and executive summary of the evidence-based clinical practice recommendations underpinning the enhanced 18-month well-baby visit.
Improving early childhood development - part I
The following article entitled "Improving early childhood development–part I: proposed enhancements to the 18-month well baby visit, and the critical role of the primary care physician in child development," by authors Robin C Williams, A Biscaro, and J Van Lankveld first appeared in the November 2006 issue of the Ontario Medical Review and is reproduced with the permission of the Ontario Medical Association.
Improving early childhood development - part II
The following article entitled "Improving early childhood development–part II: literacy, the primary care physician, and the enhanced 18-month well baby visit," by authors Robin C Williams, W Watson, J Van Lankveld, and A Biscaro first appeared in the November 2006 issue of the Ontario Medical Review and is reproduced with the permission of the Ontario Medical Association.