AboutKidsHealth is a health education website for children, youth and their caregivers.



COVID-19COVID-19COVID-19CEnglishInfectious DiseasesChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NAImmune systemConditions and diseasesAdult (19+) CaregiversNA2020-03-26T04:00:00Z000Landing PageLearning Hub<p>Learn about COVID-19 and how to talk to and support your family. Also find resources such as videos and audio meditations to help you cope.</p><p>This hub includes resources on COVID-19 and how to help you cope. There are resources on how to support your child's mental health and general wellbeing through physical activity, sleep, nutrition and learning. Also included are videos and audio meditations to help you cope with stressful thoughts and experiences that occur throughout your day.<br></p> <br> <div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fBkA2ZTUnyI"></iframe> <p>View Dr. Ronni's chat with Dr. Cheddar above.</p></div> <br> <div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">COVID-19 information</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find information about COVID-19 from AboutKidsHealth.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3872&language=English">Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) </a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html">Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Public Health Agency of Canada)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3863&language=English">COVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditions</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3870&language=English&hub=COVID-19">COVID-19: Information for parents of children with congenital heart disease</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://covid19healthliteracyproject.com/#languages">COVID-19 fact sheets in 34 different languages (Harvard Health Publishing)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus/public-resources">COVID-19 public resources (Public Health Ontario)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.pcmch.on.ca/covid-19-resources-for-children-youth-and-families/">COVID-19 resources for children, youth, and families (Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/the-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19">The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Caring for Kids)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus">The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Ontario Ministry of Health)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/9Ay4u7OYOhA">6 steps to prevent COVID-19 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Talking to your child about COVID-19</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Helpful resources that provide information about how to explain and talk to your child about COVID-19. </p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3866&language=English">How to talk to your child about COVID-19</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="http://hollandbloorview.ca/services/family-workshops-resources/family-resource-centre/explaining-covid-19-kids">Explaining COVID-19 and Coronavirus to children (Holland Bloorview)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cps.ca/en/blog-blogue/how-can-we-talk-to-kids-about-covid-19">How can we talk to kids about COVID-19? Be “realistically reassuring” (Canadian Pediatric Society)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-coronavirus#.XmuZ3QV_gax.twitter">How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus (PBS)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3869&language=English">Supporting your child with a neurodevelopmental disorder through the COVID-19 crisis</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cmho.org/blog/blog-news/6519918-talking-to-your-anxious-child-about-covid-19">Talking to your anxious child about COVID-19 (Children's Mental Health Ontario)</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Coping</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Information on how to help your child cope with stress during the COVID-19 crisis and how to help them deal with separation from family and friend. </p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3868&language=English">Coping with separation from family and friends during COVID-19</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/disaster">Helping children and teens cope with stressful public events (Caring for Kids)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cps.ca/en/blog-blogue/how-to-help-youth-tackle-the-blues-during-covid-19">How to help youth tackle the blues during COVID-19 and #physicaldistancing (Canadian Pediatric Society)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3867&language=English">Is my child or adolescent feeling stressed about COVID-19?</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/supporting-individuals-autism-through-uncertain-times">Supporting individuals with autism through uncertain times (Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules)</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Mental health</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Taking care of your mental health during difficult and stressful times is important. Learn more about anxiety and depression.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=18&language=English">Anxiety: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3810&language=English">Anxiety and anxiety disorders</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20Individual%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020_v2.pdf">CARD: Coping with your own fears and anxiety</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20caregiver%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020.pdf">CARD: Helping your child cope with anxiety</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=19&language=English">Depression: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19">Mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic (CAMH)</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Parenting</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find some helpful information on parenting during the COVID-19 crisis. </p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/health_information_on_the_internet">A parent’s guide to health information on the Internet (Caring for Kids)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cps.ca/en/blog-blogue/covid-youth-and-substance-use-critical-messages-for-youth-and-families">COVID, youth, and substance use: Critical messages for youth and families (Canadian Pediatric Society)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cps.ca/en/blog-blogue/parenting-during-covid-19-a-new-frontier">Parenting during COVID-19: A new frontier (Canadian Pediatric Society)</a></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Learning</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=651&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Reading milestones</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3871&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Writing milestones</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=722&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Mathematics milestones</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Wellbeing</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find out how physical activity, a healthy sleep routine, screen time limits and balanced nutrition can boost your child's mental health and support them to achieve better academic success and help them through difficult times. </p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Handwashing</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1981&language=English">Hand hygiene</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/handwashing">Handwashing for parents and children (Caring for Kids)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=7PKwE1jIuws&feature=emb_title">Protect don’t infect (CHEO)</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Sleep</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=645&language=English">Sleep: Benefits and recommended amounts</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3632&language=English">Sleep and your mental health: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3633&language=English">Sleep and mental health: Sorting out your sleep routine</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=646&language=English">How to help your child get a good night's sleep</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=647&language=English">How to help your teen get a good night's sleep</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Physical activity</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3783&language=English">Physical activity and mental health: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3784&language=English">Physical activity and mental health: Types of physical activity</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=641&language=English">Physical activity: Benefits of exercise for health and wellbeing</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=642&language=English">Physical activity: Guidelines for children and teens</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Nutrition</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3773&language=English">Nutrition and mental health: The basics of a healthy diet</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=639&language=English">How a balanced diet and healthy eating habits can help your child's mental health</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3774&language=English">Nutrition and mental health: Developing positive eating habits</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1464&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Meal ideas for school-aged children, tweens and teens</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=638&language=English">Healthy eating for teens</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Screen time and social media</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=643&language=English">Screen time: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3775&language=English">Screen time for teens: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=644&language=English">How to help your child set healthy screen time limits</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3776&language=English">Setting limits and staying safe with screen time</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Stress and resilience</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3777&language=English">Stress and health</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3778&language=English">How to become more resilient</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Tools, videos and resources for you and your child</h2></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20Individual%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020_v2.pdf">CARD: Coping with your own fears and anxiety</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20caregiver%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020.pdf">CARD: Helping your child cope with anxiety</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.brainson.org/shows/2020/03/10/understanding-coronavirus-and-how-germs-spread-for-kids?fbclid=IwAR21Y_n6fsy33QD2s07In2Q892xQoI5OEFMMZ5vcMyVoLdkH8tv4yZjaZsc">Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread (Brains On!)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-info/were-here-for-you-during-covid-19-novel-coronavirus/">We’re here for you during COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) (Kids Help Phone)</a></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Videos</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU8TX2eADJ4">Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab (video for children)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r51gYrDzpHQ">Physical distancing (video for children)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNinywG7BtY">What is personal protective equipment (PPE) (video for children)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBkA2ZTUnyI&feature=youtu.be">Dr. Cheddar chats with Dr. Ronni from SickKids (video for children)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=7PKwE1jIuws&feature=emb_title">Protect don’t infect (CHEO)</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Videos to support sleep and mindfulness</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find videos that will help you prepare for sleep and for when you need a moment of peace, to understand your situation more clearly and coping with stressful thoughts and experiences.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Sleep video</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/2fbaoqkY0Qk">Sleep: A bed time story</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Mindfulness videos</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/nQdM_Cku9pA">A moment of peace</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/cFCiUlFKuO4">Two wings to fly</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/jaNAwy3XsfI">Being with all of your experiences</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/0QXmmP4psbA">You are not your thoughts</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/Ty93GRPplJo">Dealing with difficult moments</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/QTsUEOUaWpY">Everyday mindfulness</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/GgBVIZAEQqU">STOP for mindfulness</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYcLfBf-T9c">Stress and thinking: The mind/body connection</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/EWzDHN7Jdg8">Dealing with flares: Controlling the controllables</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Audio meditations for mindfulness and coping</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Listen to these meditations in a quiet, comfortable spot to practise mindfulness, learn about ways to cope with physical and emotional pain or discomfort and to help you with stress throughout your day.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Mindfulness</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/3cevA6EjCbE">5 senses</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/gqMu6kFfQcE">Dropping the anchor</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/O5F3-Xw2XPE">The mountain</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/84Tr734KXO8">Dilute the yuck</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/YnL-hjXo4EQ">Self-compassion</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/fZdw6wm3A3E">Body scan</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/jc64ap852FU">Circle of gratitude</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/LMu-r-KZ_l8">Tree meditation</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/xcO8IIeV12M">Mindfulness of thought</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Coping with physical and emotional pain</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/84Tr734KXO8">Dilute the yuck</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/3IK7yWuEs3k">Visualize your pain</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/UbTyPgHf8z4">Soften, soothe, allow</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/NN7fz8lMTIM">Ice cube</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/e0JMtabUVvQ">Comfort your pain</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Finding calm/coping with stress</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/RQJNdVtHxlY">Time for rest</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/RpHvQkHYrZ0">Allowing rest</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/gqMu6kFfQcE">Dropping the anchor</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/EnrNtaMskik">Breathing meditation</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/CMcx9tJ70rA">Joy</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/EL_fvAepwv8">Equal breathing</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/QSf0JS0O16Q">Key word guided meditation</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/Tsi2np8xtVY">Bell meditation</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/263e093H5eM">Bell sounds</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/Jqu3SOEKtvE">Progressive muscle relaxation with tension</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/4ilNITE3-fE">Relaxation with imagery</a></li></ol></li></ol></div> <br> <br> <div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLjJtOP3StIuU99GGMBBV2N_b2tsRwMx0m"></iframe> <br> <p>Above is our COVID-focused playlist. See "Tools, videos and resources for you and your child" in the menu above for more videos or visit the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/Aboutkidshealth">AboutKidHealth YouTube channel</a>.</p></div> <br>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/iStock-1157093074.jpgCOVID-19,COVID19COVID-19Main
COVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditionsCOVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditionsCOVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditionsCEnglishInfectious DiseasesChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NAImmune systemConditions and diseasesAdult (19+) CaregiversFever;Cough;Runny nose2020-03-18T04:00:00Z10.000000000000051.1000000000000798.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Children who are immunocompromised and children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of complications from the novel coronavirus COVID-19.</p><p>Children who are immunocompromised and children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of complications from the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The following questions and answers may help you during this outbreak.</p> <h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>SickKids is safe for you and your child to come to for assessment as directed by your primary care team.</li><li>Children who are immunocompromised and children with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk of developing complications if they do get COVID-19.</li><li>Washing your hands frequently using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or by using soap and water for 20 seconds will help to prevent you from getting COVID-19.</li><li>Your child should continue to take their regular medications as prescribed by their primary care team unless specifically instructed otherwise.</li></ul> <h2>What is novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?</h2><p>A new or novel strain of coronavirus was identified in late 2019, and has now spread across the globe. The World Health Organization has named this novel coronavirus COVID-19 and has declared the outbreak a pandemic.</p><h2>Is my child immunocompromised?</h2><p>Immunocompromised children have weak immune systems. A weak immune system could be caused by many different medical conditions or medications. Some examples include children who have:</p><ul><li>had a solid organ transplant (i.e. heart, kidney, lung, liver, intestinal)</li><li>had a bone marrow transplant</li><li>cancer</li><li>congenital or primary immunodeficiency</li><li>HIV/AIDS</li><li>rheumatological disease</li><li>gastrointestinal disease</li><li>severe burns</li></ul><p>And those who are:</p><ul><li>taking selective immunomodulators (i.e. anti-TNF agents, azathioprine, MMF and all immunosuppressive agents).</li><li>taking long-term steroid therapy</li><li>in a severely malnourished state</li></ul><p>If you are unsure if your child is immunocompromised, please check with your primary care team at the hospital.</p><h2>Is my child at higher risk of getting COVID-19?</h2><p>There is still a lot being learned about COVID-19. At this time, serious illness in children appears to be less common than it is in adults. It is not yet clear whether children with underlying or chronic medical conditions are at greater risk of being infected with COVID-19, or of serious illness if they get the infection. Based on what is known about the influenza virus, it would not be unexpected for immunocompromised children, or children with an underlying chronic medical condition (i.e. chronic lung disease) to be at increased risk of complications from a COVID-19 infection.</p><h2>How do I know if my child has COVID-19?</h2><p>Your child may have COVID-19 if they have some or all of the following symptoms:</p><ul><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a></li><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=774&language=English">cough</a> or sneezing</li><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=748&language=English">sore throat</a></li><li>difficulty breathing or fast breathing</li><li>body aches</li><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=29&language=English">headache</a></li><li>chills</li><li>fatigue</li><li> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=7&language=English">diarrhea</a> and <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=746&language=English">vomiting</a></li><li>runny or stuffy nose that progresses to one of the above symptoms</li></ul><p>While fever may be the main symptom in immunocompromised children, not all children with COVID-19 will have a fever. For children who have a runny or stuffy nose you should be most concerned about a possible COVID-19 infection if other symptoms develop. It is not yet known if immunocompromised children with a COVID-19 infection have different symptoms.</p><h2>Should I come to the hospital if I think my child has COVID-19?</h2><p>If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 contact your primary care team at the hospital before coming. They will help you determine if your child needs to be seen and where you should go.</p><p>You should come to the hospital right away if your child has the following symptoms:</p><ul><li>fast breathing or trouble breathing</li><li>bluish skin color</li><li>not drinking enough fluids</li><li>not waking up or not interacting</li><li>being so irritable that the child does not want to be held</li><li>fever with a rash</li></ul><p>In an emergency please call an ambulance and tell the emergency services team that you are concerned your child may have a COVID-19 infection.</p><h2>Is testing for COVID-19 available at SickKids?</h2><p>Yes, testing is available at SickKids for children with weakened immune system that have concerning symptoms, such as fever and cough. Testing is usually done with a nose swab to try to identify various viruses. These swabs now test for COVID-19 as well.</p><h2>If my child is diagnosed with COVID-19, how long will they be sick?</h2><p>There is still a lot to be learned about COVID-19. Children with weakened immune systems may be sick for a longer period of time than other children. How long will vary from child to child.</p><h2>Should my child avoid public places such as shopping malls, public transit and playgrounds?</h2><p>At this time, it is recommended that social distancing including avoiding crowded environments is appropriate, in keeping with current public health recommendations. In crowded situations that cannot be avoided, extra precautions should be taken such as frequent handwashing. If you have alcohol-based hand sanitizer carry it with you to use when soap and water are not available. At this point, firm recommendations regarding summer camps cannot be made, however such camps will likely be cancelled if the outbreak continues unabated.</p><h2>What are effective measures to prevent COVID-19 spread?</h2><ul><li>Like other respiratory viruses, including influenza, it is recommended that you wash your hands frequently by using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or by using soap and water for 20 seconds.</li><li>Limit touching your face, nose and eyes.<br></li><li>Avoid close contact with people who have a fever or cough.</li><li>Practice cough etiquette by keeping a distance from other people, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue or a respiratory mask, and practicing frequent hand washing.</li></ul><h2>Are there any extra precautions that my child or I should be taking?</h2><p>Encourage your child to wash or sanitize their hands frequently. For example, if they are in school, you can provide older children with a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer can be dangerous if swallowed. Be careful to keep it away from young children. Avoid having your child be in close contact with anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19. Be vigilant for signs of infection in your child.</p><h2>Should my child wear a face mask when in public?</h2><ul><li>There is no current evidence that wearing a mask in public spaces will help your child to avoid infection from COVID-19. Other measures, such as careful hand washing and social distancing have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing transmission of the infection. However, you and your child may consider wearing a face covering (sucha as a cloth mask or bandana) in public spaces if physical distancing is not possible.</li><li>If your child has respiratory symptoms (i.e. fever, cough) and they are at the hospital for assessment, it is important that they wear a mask to avoid spreading infection to others. If you do not have a mask for this purpose you should ask for one when you arrive at the hospital.</li><li>Your primary care team may also advise your child to wear a mask for other reasons and you should follow this advice.</li></ul><h2>Should my child continue on their immunosuppressive medications?</h2><p>Your child should continue to take their regular medications as prescribed, unless directed differently by your primary care team at the hospital. Make sure you have enough medication and supplies on hand to last for 30 days, in case you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.</p><h2>Should we cancel our upcoming trip or vacation?</h2><p>Yes. At this time, it is recommended that any upcoming trips or vacations be cancelled until further notice.</p><h2>Can my child go to school?</h2><p>Please follow the guidance from the Ontario Ministry of Education and your child’s local school regarding mandatory school closure. If your child has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 do not send them to school even if their school remains open.</p><h2>What should I do if I am unwell myself, or my child’s sibling becomes unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 infection?</h2><p>Contact your family doctor or paediatrician as it is recommended that unwell siblings or parents of children who are immunocompromised be tested for COVID-19. It is also advised that you practice social distancing at home as much as possible. You can also refer to Ontario general guidelines of who should be tested for COVID-19 and ways of accessing testing at <a href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus">https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus</a>.</p><h2>What should I do if a member of my household has recently returned from travel outside of Canada?</h2><p>People returning from travel outside of Canada should self-isolate for 14 days, in keeping with current public health recommendations. During that time period your child should avoid close contact with this person as much as possible.</p><h2>Should I or my teen who is immunocompromised go to work?</h2><p>Follow public heath guidelines and practice social distancing when appropriate. This may include avoiding work environments that involve contact with large groups of people. It is recommended that you or your teen who is immunocompromised try to work from home as much as possible.</p><h2>If my child requires assessment for symptoms other than COVID-19 infection what should we do?</h2><p>Continue to follow the recommendations for getting your child assessed according to your primary care team’s instructions, as you would do normally. For example, if your child is on medication that causes them to have a low white blood cell count and they develop a fever, you should still go to the hospital for assessment and let the primary care team know about your child’s symptoms as per normal procedure.</p><h2>Should I reschedule my upcoming routine appointment?</h2><p>Clinic appointments are being reviewed and many upcoming visits may be rescheduled or moved to virtual care by video or telephone, if possible. Medically necessary appointments will continue. Please contact your primary care team at the hospital for questions regarding your upcoming appointments.</p><h2>What if the province orders a lockdown and mandates people staying in their homes? Will we be able to get to the hospital?</h2><p>Even in those countries that have ordered lockdowns, people have still been able to travel for medically necessary reasons.</p><h2>Is it safe for my child to come to SickKids during the current outbreak?</h2><p>Yes, the hospital is safe for you and your child to go to for assessment as directed by your primary care team. At all times SickKids has clear procedures in place for protecting your child from getting an infection when visiting the hospital. During this time additional measures to protect you and your child have been put in place. Please follow SickKids instruction regarding the number of visitors permitted to accompany your child. Please see <a href="https://www.sickkids.ca/coronavirus"> https://www.sickkids.ca/coronavirus</a> for further information.</p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/COVID-19--Information_for_parents.jpgCOVID-19: Information for parentsMain
How to talk to your child about COVID-19How to talk to your child about COVID-19How to talk to your child about COVID-19HEnglishPsychiatryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAConditions and diseasesAdult (19+) CaregiversNA2020-03-31T04:00:00Z9.1000000000000058.90000000000001632.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Parents and caregivers play an important role in making sure their children receive honest and accurate information during the COVID-19 pandemic.</p><h2>Introduction</h2><p>The COVID-19 pandemic is interrupting our daily lives and children are impacted by this. They are not in school and their daily routines have been disrupted. Many may hear or see things about the COVID-19 pandemic and be worried and have questions. Parents and caregivers have an important role to play in making sure their children receive honest and accurate information that is appropriate for their developmental level.</p> <h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Share ‘need to know’ information with your child, using age appropriate language.</li><li>Answer questions directly and honestly and do not make false promises.</li><li>It is okay if you do not know all the answers; focus on the short-term plan for the whole family.</li><li>If children are distressed, let them know that it is OK and understandable to have these feelings.</li><li>Model healthy coping skills and attend to your own physical and mental health.</li><li>Consider seeking out additional resources and supports for children with special needs or who are having trouble coping.</li> </ul><h2>How do I talk to my child about COVID-19?</h2><p>It is important for adults to provide accurate information that is appropriate to their child’s developmental level. For younger children, simple statements of facts are often enough. For example, you might say:</p><p> <em>“Lots of people have been getting sick with sore throats and coughs. We know that germs can cause this, so for now, places like schools, parks and stores are closed. This will help to stop the germs from spreading. We also need to wash our hands a lot, to keep ourselves and others healthy.”</em></p><p>Older children and teens may ask additional questions about where or how the pandemic began, what the leaders of our community and country are doing about it, how the pandemic affects them and how long the pandemic will last. Parents and caregivers should provide accurate, balanced and non-blaming or stigmatizing information to their children. For example, you might say:</p><p> <em>“The world is facing this challenge together and many people are working hard to come up with ways to help. As a matter of fact, the reason we are staying home is because scientists have learned this is the best way to reduce the impact of the virus. By staying home, you help to protect those that are more vulnerable such as the elderly and people with weaker immune systems.”</em></p><p>Or you could say:</p><p> <em>“This is not the first time the world has faced a challenge like this, and people become resourceful and start working together during such times to get things done. Researchers are sharing their findings to speed up progress to find treatments. Doctors and scientists across the world are talking to each other about what treatments may work and what treatments do not work. It is important you are aware not everything posted online is true. Many sites use clickbait to get you to look at information that is exaggerated, misleading or untrue.”</em></p><p>It is okay to say you do not know all the answer to your child’s questions, or that you are feeling worried as well. When talking to your child, try to present a hopeful positive outlook and tone. Be mindful of news, radio, or social media information your children are exposed to and minimize their exposure if not appropriate to their level of understanding.</p><p>Also, emphasize that your family is taking the right steps to stay safe going forward. Remember your child is not only learning from what you are explaining with words, but also, perhaps more so, from how you behave. If your actions show you are nervous and stressed, then your child will “learn” that the situation is stressful and being nervous and stressed is the best way to deal with it. In contrast, if you remain calm and composed about the situation, your child will feel safer and learn that staying calm is the best way to deal with it. Children pick up on and mirror your cues. Your children will also notice if you are ‘hiding’ things from them or having whispered conversations with other adults; this will add to a child’s stress. If you are having difficulty managing your own anxiety, ask for help from family, friends, and if needed, your health-care provider.</p><h2>How do I answer my child’s questions about COVID-19?</h2><p>When answering your child’s questions, try to find out what your child already knows. Provide accurate and honest information that is appropriate for their developmental level. Do not make false promises about how long the pandemic will last, as things are changing every day. The Centers for Disease Control has provided some <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html">child friendly answers to common health related questions about COVID-19</a>.</p><h2>Encourage children to help with planning and focus on the short-term</h2><p>Parents and caregivers can acknowledge the uncertainty regarding the coming weeks and months. They can encourage the whole family to be flexible with their plans and focus on the short-term. It can be helpful for everyone to focus on their community and their family and find safe ways to help others during the pandemic. Both children and adults feel better if they can do something. It is important to realize that even simple actions can be of great importance; for example, calling someone regularly who you know is alone or has difficulty coping with the situation. Where possible you can consider involving your child in these actions. Some examples include reaching out to relatives, friends and neighbors using methods such as social media, email, phone calls or video chat; writing letters or cards; or coming up with activities that can be shared remotely with other families. Reaching out to local online community and school groups may be another good place to start.</p><p>Work with your child to develop a daily schedule. This could include academic and learning activities, leisure and creative activities, and physical activities. It can be helpful to schedule or limit non-academic screen time from the beginning, to avoid overuse and a future need to cut back. Refer to the family schedule throughout the day. For some children an entire day can be overwhelming, so break the schedule down into shorter periods of time (for example, a morning schedule and an afternoon schedule). Try to stick to a consistent routine for waking up, meals and snacks, and bedtime. Routines offer security and predictability to children.</p><h2>If your child is upset, validate their feelings</h2><p>It is common for children (and adults) to feel scared, upset, anxious or distressed during stressful times. For some children, this may take the form of tantrums and difficult behaviours such as aggression. Other children may have more trouble getting to sleep. Some children might show regression, temporarily losing a previously acquired skill, as a symptom of anxiety. Examples include if your child starts wetting the bed or asking for more help with daily tasks such as getting dressed.</p><p>Parents and caregivers should validate their children’s feelings by saying for example: <em>“I can see you are really scared right now” or “You really miss your school and friends, it is hard to be home all day.”</em> Avoid providing false reassurance or trying to fix their distress. Offer concrete reassurance by saying for example: <em>“I am here for you when you are ready, or if you need me”</em> and <em>“We will get through this together.”</em> For younger children, distraction and redirection can also be helpful. For example, you can suggest reading a book together. Remember that children are adaptable and resilient by nature.</p><h2>Model healthy coping skills and attend to your own physical and mental health</h2><p>It is vital that parents and caregivers take care of their own physical health and stress level during the pandemic. Look after yourself because your children depend on you. This includes eating nutritious food, getting adequate sleep, taking care of your grooming, and trying to include exercise in your day. Find a few quiet moments each day and listen to music, meditate or pray, do yoga and connect with loved ones.</p><p>Children take their cues from parents and caregivers. If you as a parent or caregiver are anxious or panicked, then your child will pick up on this and likely feel the same way. Social isolation and high levels of stress can be overwhelming for everyone; it is okay for parents to step away, take breaks, and seek help when needed.</p><p>Parents and children should avoid listening to and looking at too much news and media content as this can cause and increase anxiety. You should pick a reliable news source and check in no more than once or twice each day. Reach out to your family physician or other supports if you are having trouble coping. See the <a href="https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19">Centre for Addition and Mental Health</a> website for recommendations and supports for adults.</p><h2>Consider seeking out additional resources for your child</h2><p>For children with unique communication needs or developmental disabilities, consider seeking out additional resources to explain what is happening. For example, visit Autism Speaks Canada for a <a href="https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/flu_teaching_story_final%20%281%29.pdf">flu teaching story</a> to share with your child.</p><p>For children and youth who are experiencing ongoing increased distress or anxiety, consider reaching out to your regular health-care providers. Most providers should be able to offer virtual or phone check-ups. Some helpful online apps to help parents (and children) cope are listed below.</p><ul><li><a href="https://www.anxietycanada.com/">Anxiety Canada</a> website has helpful information and guides to develop an anxiety plan for people of all ages.</li><li>Mental health apps: <a href="https://www.anxietycanada.com/resources/mindshift-cbt/">MindShift</a>, <a href="https://www.calm.com/">Calm</a>, <a href="https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app">Headspace</a>, <a href="https://www.stopbreathethink.com/">Stop, breathe and think</a> and <a href="https://www.stopbreathethink.com/kids/">Stop, breathe and think kids</a>. These offer general coping strategies and introductions to cognitive behavioural therapy. All of them have some free content or trials.</li><li>Mindfulness and meditation: <a href="https://www.smilingmind.com.au/">Smiling mind</a> (meditation for all ages), and <a href="https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/ucla-mindful-app">UCLA Mindful</a>.</li><li><a href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/mentalhealth?topic=guidedmeditations">Guided meditations</a> from AboutKidsHealth, a health education resource for children, youth and caregivers that is approved by health-care providers at The Hospital for Sick Children.</li></ul><h2>References</h2><p>Autism Speaks Canada. Visual Supports and Autism Spectrum Disorder tool kit. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.autismspeaks.ca/science-services-resources/resources/tool-kits/visual-supports-and-autism-spectrum-disorder-1/">https://www.autismspeaks.ca/science-services-resources/resources/tool-kits/visual-supports-and-autism-spectrum-disorder-1/</a></p><p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, March 16). Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/">https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/</a></p><p>Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, March 30). Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html">https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html</a></p><p>Centre for Addition and Mental Health. (2020). Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19">https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19</a></p><p>National Association for School Psychologist. (2020, February 29). Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Retrieved from <a href="https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19">https://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/NASN/3870c72d-fff9-4ed7-833f-215de278d256/UploadedImages/PDFs/02292020_NASP_NASN_COVID-19_parent_handout.pdf</a></p> https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/How_to_talk_to_your_child_about_COVID-19.jpgMain
Living with a chronic condition: Supporting yourself as a caregiverLiving with a chronic condition: Supporting yourself as a caregiverLiving with a chronic condition: Supporting yourself as a caregiverLEnglishPsychiatryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2018-11-26T05:00:00Z9.1000000000000063.6000000000000540.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Learn how to support your own mental health and wellbeing and how to cope with emotions following the diagnosis of a child’s chronic condition. </p><p>​Following a diagnosis of a child's <a href="/Article?contentid=3400&language=English">chronic condition</a>, it is normal to feel a range of emotions such as guilt, sadness, anger or relief. These emotions might be directed at yourself, your partner, your child, the healthcare team or the world in general.<br></p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>​It is natural to feel a range of emotions when your child is diagnosed with a chronic condition.</li><li>Try to use positive coping methods such as exercise, keeping up with hobbies and staying connected with family and friends. This will help you and set a good example for your child.</li><li>Ask your child's healthcare team about social supports that are specific to your child's condition.</li><li>Speak to a trusted friend or healthcare professional if you feel on edge, have ongoing sleep difficulties or no longer enjoy hobbies or other activities.</li></ul><p>Avoid the tendency to ignore your emotions and reactions to your child’s condition. Instead, take care of yourself and use some positive coping methods such as:<br></p><ul><li>going for a walk or doing other exercise</li><li>getting enough sleep</li><li>eating a balanced diet</li><li>continuing with enjoyable activities and hobbies</li><li>staying connected to friends and family.</li></ul><p>This approach helps you not only manage your stress levels but also better care for your child. In fact, research has shown that parents who improve their own stress levels have a positive impact on their child’s health.</p><p>Your child’s healthcare team can help recommend <a href="/Article?contentid=3402&language=English">coping strategies</a> to help both you and your child. This might include meeting others with the same diagnosis as your child or joining a community specific to the chronic condition. These social supports can:</p><ul><li>help you adapt to raising a child with a chronic condition</li><li>offer realistic tips and tricks to manage your time and appointments and manage your child’s symptoms or any medication side effects.</li></ul><p>However, it is always important to talk to your child’s healthcare team before changing anything in your child’s healthcare routine.</p><h2>Setting a positive example for your child or teen</h2><p>As a parent, you are a role model for positive coping, asking for help when you need it and advocating for your child’s or teen’s needs in the healthcare system. Your child will learn how to manage their chronic condition by watching how you cope with it.</p><p>Sometimes you might need to explain why and how a chosen activity is a coping strategy. Tell your child, for instance, if you are going for a walk or run to help with stress or talking about your emotions with close friends to help ease your concerns. When your child sees you making healthy choices and coping well, they are more likely to do the same themselves.</p><h2>Warning signs to seek support for yourself</h2><p>Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may find it difficult to cope with the reality of a child’s chronic condition. You might need to seek specific support for yourself if you:</p><ul><li>find it hard to understand or remember what healthcare providers are telling you</li><li>cannot fall asleep or stay asleep during the night</li><li>almost always have a feeling of being on edge</li><li>feel resentful towards your child</li><li>find it difficult to enjoy activities that you used to enjoy.</li></ul><p>In these cases, it can be helpful to speak to a trusted friend or professional for support.<br></p><h2>Further information</h2><p>For more information on parenting a child or teen with a chronic condition, please see the following pages:</p><p> <a href="https://akhpub.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3400&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Overview</a><br></p><p> <a href="https://akhpub.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3401&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Helping your child manage their health</a></p><p> <a href="https://akhpub.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3402&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Maintaining your child's everyday routines</a><br></p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/iCanCopeSCD/duration_location_frequency_SCD_J4T.jpgSupporting yourself as a caregiverMain
Mental healthMental healthMental healthMEnglishPsychiatryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANANACaregivers Adult (19+)NALanding PageLearning Hub<p>Learn how to support your child’s wellbeing with activity, sleep and nutrition; and how to recognize and manage various mental health conditions.</p><p>This hub includes resources for parents on how to support your child's mental health and general wellbeing through physical activity, sleep and nutrition. It also provides information on the signs, symptoms and treatments of different mental health conditions, including anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, behavioural disorders, anorexia nervosa and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.<br></p><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Wellbeing</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>The everyday pressures of growing up can put a strain on any child's mental wellbeing. Find out how physical activity, a healthy sleep routine, screen time limits and balanced nutrition can boost your child's mental health and support them through difficult times.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Physical activity</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=642&language=English">Physical activity: Guidelines for children and teens</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=641&language=English">Physical activity: Benefits of exercise for health and wellbeing</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Sleep</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=645&language=English">Sleep: Benefits and recommended amounts</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=646&language=English">How to help your child get a good night's sleep</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=647&language=English">How to help your teen get a good night's sleep</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Screen time</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=643&language=English">Screen time: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=644&language=English">How to help your child set healthy screen time limits</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Nutrition</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=639&language=English">Nutrition: How a balanced diet and healthy eating habits can help your child's mental health</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Anxiety disorders</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Every child feels anxiety at some point as a natural part of growing up. An anxiety disorder, however, is when anxious feelings interfere with a child's everyday routine. Learn more about the signs, symptoms and range of anxiety disorders and how they ​are treated.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=18&language=English">Anxiety: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=271&language=English">Anxiety: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=270&language=English">Types of anxiety disorders</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=701&language=English">Anxiety: Treatment with medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=702&language=English">Anxiety: Psychotherapy and lifestyle changes</a></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Resources for coping with anxiety</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20caregiver%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020.pdf">The CARD System - Coping with your child's anxiety (for parents/caregivers)</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Obsessive compulsive disorder</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) occurs when a person suffers from troubling and intrusive thoughts and/or follows repetitive or strict routines to feel less worried. Learn about the causes, signs and impact of this disorder and how you can help your child.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=285&language=English">Obsessive compulsive disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=288&language=English">OCD: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=286&language=English">How OCD affects your child's life</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=709&language=English">OCD: Psychotherapy and medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=287&language=English">OCD: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Depression</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Depression is an illness that causes someone to feel deep sadness or a lack of interest in activities that they once enjoyed. Discover how this condition affects a child's mood, sleep, concentration and energy levels, and how it can be treated.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=19&language=English">Depression: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=284&language=English">Depression: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=707&language=English">Depression: Treatment with medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=708&language=English">Depression: Psychotherapy and lifestyle changes</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Bipolar disorder</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>When a person has bipolar disorder, they alternate between low and elevated moods for days, weeks or months at a time. Learn about the bipolar disorder spectrum, the symptoms of manic and depressive episodes and how medications, therapy and lifestyle changes can help.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=279&language=English">Bipolar disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=280&language=English">Bipolar disorder: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=704&language=English">Bipolar disorder: Treatment with medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=705&language=English">Bipolar disorder: Psychotherapy and lifestyle changes</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Suicide and self-harm</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>A child who experiences thoughts of suicide or self-harm is often suffering from overwhelming emotional pain. Find out how to help your child cope with difficult emotions, how to support and protect your child and where to find professional help.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=291&language=English">Suicide in children and teens: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=289&language=English">Self-harm in children and teens: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=290&language=English">Signs and symptoms of suicide risk</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=293&language=English">How to help your child with difficult emotions</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=292&language=English">How to protect your child from harm</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Eating disorders</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>An eating disorder not only risks your child's health but can also disrupt family life. Find out about the symptoms and treatment of anorexia, bulimia, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and binge eating disorder and how you can help your child recover.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Anorexia nervosa</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=268&language=English">Anorexia nervosa: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=269&language=English">Anorexia: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=267&language=English">Anorexia: Medical complications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=700&language=English">Anorexia: Treatment options</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=266&language=English">Anorexia: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Bulimia nervosa</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=282&language=English">Bulimia nervosa: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=283&language=English">Bulimia: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=281&language=English">Bulimia: Medical complications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=706&language=English">Bulimia: Treatment options</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=294&language=English">Bulimia: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=274&language=English">Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=275&language=English">ARFID: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=273&language=English">ARFID: Medical complications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=703&language=English">ARFID: Treatment options</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=272&language=English">ARFID: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Binge eating disorder (BED)</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=277&language=English">Binge eating disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=278&language=English">BED: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=640&language=English">Obesity: Medical complications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=276&language=English">BED: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) involves difficulties with controlling attention and regulating behaviour. Discover the main symptoms of ADHD in children and teens, how the disorder is diagnosed and how to help your child at home and at school.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1922&language=English">Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1923&language=English">ADHD: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1997&language=English">ADHD: How to help your child at home</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1999&language=English">ADHD: Communicating with your child's school</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1998&language=English">ADHD: Treatment with medications</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Behavioural disorders</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Behavioural disorders include oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. Learn how these disorders differ from typical misbehaviour, how therapy and medications can help and how you can manage problematic behaviour at home.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1924&language=English">Behavioural disorders: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1925&language=English">Behavioural disorders: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2000&language=English">Behavioural disorders: Treatment with psychotherapy and medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2001&language=English">Behavioural disorders: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Learn about the main symptoms of PTSD, how the condition is diagnosed and how psychotherapy and medications can help your child.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1927&language=English">Post-traumatic stress disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1928&language=English">PTSD: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2005&language=English">PTSD: Treatment with psychotherapy and medications</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Brain disorders and mental health</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>A brain disorder includes a condition, illness or injury that affects the brain and how it develops before or after birth. Find out how a brain disorder can affect your child's learning, mood and social skills, how its impact on mental health is assessed and how to help your child cope.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1926&language=English">Brain disorders and mental health: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2002&language=English">Brain disorders: Assessing your child for neuropsychological difficulties</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2003&language=English">Brain disorders: How to help your child cope</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2004&language=English">Brain disorders: Common treatments</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Parenting a child with a chronic condition</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>A chronic conditions can affect a child's mental health and everyday routines. Discover how parents and caregivers can help manage both their child's health care and routines, and support their own mental health.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3400&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3401&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Helping your child manage their health</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3402&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Maintaining your child's everyday routines</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3403&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Supporting yourself as a caregiver</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Substance use disorder</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Substance use is the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs for pleasure or enjoyment. Learn about the signs and symptoms of substance use and how you can help your teen if you suspect they have a substance use disorder.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3663&language=English">Substance use disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3664&language=English">Substance use disorder: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3665&language=English">Substance use disorder: How to help your teen at home</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Understanding functional symptoms and somatization</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Somatization involves expressing distress through physical symptoms. Find out about the mind-body connection, signs of somatization and the various ways to support your child or teen.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3666&language=English">Functional symptoms: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3667&language=English">Mind-body connection</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3668&language=English">Somatization: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3669&language=English">Somatization: Common treatments</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3770&language=English">Somatization: How to help your child or teen cope</a></li></ol></div>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Mental_health_landing-page.jpgmentalhealthhealthylivingMain
Physical activity: Guidelines for children and teensPhysical activity: Guidelines for children and teensPhysical activity: Guidelines for children and teensPEnglishPreventionBaby (1-12 months);Toddler (13-24 months);Preschooler (2-4 years);School age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAHealthy living and preventionCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2020-05-22T04:00:00Z10.200000000000055.20000000000001419.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Learn about the guidelines for daily physical activity, sleep and screen time for babies, children and teens.</p><p>Physical activity has a range of <a href="/Article?contentid=641&language=English">benefits for your child’s physical, mental and social health</a>. Maintaining regular physical activity during stressful times may be more difficult.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Regular physical activity has a number of benefits for children, including improved movement skills, stronger bones and greater concentration at school.</li><li>Children and youth aged 5 to 17 years should do 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity every day. They should also do activities to strengthen their muscles and bones at least three times a week.</li><li>Helpful activities include playing tag, biking, rollerblading, gymnastics, soccer, swimming or hockey.</li></ul><h2>How much physical activity does my child need?</h2><p>The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) provides specific physical activity guidelines based on age.</p><ul><li> <a href="https://csepguidelines.ca/early-years-0-4/">Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (0 to 4 years)</a></li><li> <a href="https://csepguidelines.ca/children-and-youth-5-17/">Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (5 to 17 years)</a></li></ul><p>These guidelines encourage children and youth to sweat, step, sleep, and sit the right amounts each day for optimal health.</p><h3>Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (0-4 Years)</h3><p>The table below summarizes the amount and types of activity that are suitable during the first few years of your child’s life.</p><table class="akh-table"><thead><tr><th>Sweat and Step</th><th>Sleep</th><th>Sit</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td colspan="3">Infants (younger than 1 year)</td></tr><tr><td>30 minutes of <a href="/Article?contentid=296&language=English">tummy time</a> spread throughout the day while awake</td><td><p>14 to 17 hours for those aged 0-3 months</p><p>12 to 16 hours of good quality sleep for those aged 4-11 monnths</p></td><td>Screen time is not recommended</td></tr><tr><td colspan="3">Toddlers (1-2 years)</td></tr><tr><td>180 minutes of any intensity physical — more is better.</td><td>11-14 hours of good-quality sleep.</td><td><p>For those younger than 2 years, sedentary screen time is not recommended. </p><p>For those aged 2 years, sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour — less is better.</p></td></tr><tr><td colspan="3">Preschoolers (3-4 years) </td></tr><tr><td>180 minutes of physical activity per day, of which at least 60 minutes is energetic play — more is better.</td><td>10-13 hours of good quality sleep</td><td>Screen time should be no omre than 1 hour — less is better. </td></tr></tbody></table><h3>True of false? Sixty minutes of being outdoors is enough physical activity for my child.</h3> <div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3jnLqZ-0zDo?rel=0" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> <p>For more videos from SickKids experts in collaboration with Youngster, visit <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoKMd2cYwegtZX19uHdNLQA">Youngster on YouTube</a>.</p><h3>Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth (age 5 to 17 years)</h3><p>These guidelines cover all types of movement as well as rest and relaxation throughout the day, including nighttime. A 24-hour day is divided into the four sections:</p><ul><li>sweat</li><li>step</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=645&language=English">sleep</a></li><li>sit</li></ul><table class="akh-table"><thead><tr><th>Activity</th><th>Recommendations</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Sweat</td><td><ul><li>​At least 60 minutes (1 hour) of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity every day.</li><li>Vigorous intensity and bone and muscle strengthening activity at least three days a week</li></ul></td></tr><tr><td>Step</td><td><ul><li>Several hours of structured and unstructured light intensity activities such as playing, walking to or from school, doing chores</li></ul></td></tr><tr><td>Sleep</td><td><ul><li><p>Children aged 5 to 13: 9 to 11 hours of <a href="/Article?contentid=645&language=English&hub=mentalhealth">uninterrupted sleep</a></p></li><li>Teens aged 14 to 17: 8 to 10 hours of <a href="/Article?contentid=645&language=English&hub=mentalhealth">uninterrupted sleep</a></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td>Sit</td><td><ul><li>​No more than 2 hours of recreational <a href="/Article?contentid=643&language=English">screen time</a> a day</li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table><h2>How can I tell if my child’s activities are moderate or vigorous intensity?</h2><p> <strong>Moderate-intensity activities</strong> also make children sweat and breathe a little harder, but they can still talk while they move their bodies. Examples include rollerblading, riding a bike around the neighbourhood after school and moderate level yoga.</p><p> <strong>Vigorous-intensity activities</strong> make children sweat and feel “out of breath”, leaving them able to speak only a few words between breaths. Examples include hip-hop dancing and running, biking or swimming at a fast pace.</p><h2>What types of activities strengthen muscles and bones?</h2><p>Activities that strengthen muscles and bones force the body to bear weight. They include going for a hike with family or friends, jumping rope, playing tennis or basketball or doing weight training with body weight or hand-held weights.</p><p>Cycling and swimming are good for building muscles and improving heart health, but they are not as effective as other activities for building strong bones. This is because the bones are not required to bear as much weight while the body is in a seated position or in water.</p><h2>How can I encourage my child to be more active?</h2><p>Often there is a gap between what we know we should do and actually doing it. As a parent, you may find it difficult to get your child to increase their daily physical activity, especially if they are not used to it, are carrying extra weight, are out of shape or are feeling down. However, there are a number of tips that can help.</p><h3>Make it a habit</h3><p>It is important to instil physical activity as a regular part of your child's routine from an early age. If physical activity is valued by your child, it is more likely to become a habit and be carried on throughout the years. As well, your child will also be more to self-motivate to get active, even when they may not feel like it.</p><h3>Be a healthy role model</h3><p>Be a good role model. Not only will this benefit your family by showing them how you can fit daily physical activity into your life in various ways, but it benefits you as well. In addition, regular physical activity will create more opportunities for you to be active and have fun with your children.</p><h3>Try active transportation</h3><p>Using your own body to get from one destination to another – also known as active transportation – is a great way for kids to sneak in some additional minutes of physical activity throughout the day. Whether your child walks to wheels to school or bikes to a friend’s house, every bit of movement counts. </p><h3>Set limits on screen time</h3><p> <a href="/Article?contentid=644&language=English">Set limits on your child’s recreational screen time</a> (watching TV, playing video games, using social media with friends). Children aged two and over should have no more than one to two hours of recreational screen time a day. Children under age two should not have any screen time.</p><h3>Safety first</h3><p>Consider encouraging your child to walk to school with other nearby children by forming a walking club with neighbours. Also make sure that your child or teen is wearing protective equipment for activities such as cycling, skating, skateboarding, soccer and other physical activities.</p><h3>Choose an activity your child enjoys</h3><p>If your child does not have a routine to fall back on, you can help them find something that they really enjoy doing and letting them take gradual steps from there. Getting outside, going for a swim or walking, running or bike riding with friends or family are all great ways to start them off. Other options are doing a yoga class (many are available online to follow at home), playing soccer and dancing.</p><p>Even if your child is part of an organized sport a few times a week, encourage them to move on their off days by walking or cycling to a friend’s house, raking leaves, skipping rope or playing in a neighbourhood park.</p><p>A good idea when choosing an activity is for you and your child to consider:</p><ul><li>your child’s interests</li><li>the availability and affordability of options where you live.</li></ul><p> <strong><em>Your child’s interests</em></strong></p><p>Not every child has plans to be the team captain or star player. If your child prefers to do physical activity on their own, they may be interested in running, biking, dancing or swimming. If they enjoy being in a team environment where they can make new friends and be part of a community, then team-based activities such as basketball, volleyball or soccer might be a better option.</p><p> <strong><em>Availability and affordability of options</em></strong></p><p>The costs of some physical activities can quickly add up when you take account uniforms, equipment, lessons and travel to and from practices or competitions. For more cost-effective options, check out public programs available through your city’s or town’s recreation centres, availability of sport subsidy programs, or intermural activities offered through your child’s school. Sporting goods stores, like Play it Again Sports, that offer almost new or gently used sports equipment are also worth a look for discounted items.</p><h2>How to set your child up with a positive attitude towards physical activity</h2><p>There is always a certain amount of fear and discomfort when trying something new. It helps to remind your child that they do not need to be the best or fastest, but instead should do their best to enjoy and learn from their chosen activity.</p><p>Just like adults, the more a child enjoys the activity, the more likely they are to want to continue. And when it comes to a behaviour like physical activity, we want children to keep coming back for more!</p><p>If your child tries an activity and does not like it, that’s ok! Try something new. Benefits can only be gained from physical activity if a child likes it enough to do it regularly. It is also a good idea to encourage your child to try different activities throughout the year to have some variety and use their body in different ways. </p><h2>Resources</h2><p>Visit <a href="https://meant2prevent.ca/">Meant2Prevent</a> to find more resources about the importance of physical activity.</p><img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/physical_activity_guidelines_school_age.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/physical_activity_guidelines_school_age.jpgPhysical activity guidelinesMain
Post-traumatic stress disorder: Signs and symptomsPost-traumatic stress disorder: Signs and symptomsPost-traumatic stress disorder: Signs and symptomsPEnglishPsychiatryPreschooler (2-4 years);School age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2017-07-27T04:00:00Z11.600000000000047.1000000000000784.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Learn about the four categories of post-traumatic stress disorder signs and symptoms.</p><h2>What are the main symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and teens?</h2><p>The main symptoms of <a href="/Article?contentid=1927&language=English">post-traumatic stress disorder</a> (PTSD) are divided into four categories:</p><ul><li>intrusion symptoms</li><li>avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event</li><li>negative changes in thoughts and mood</li><li>altered reactivity</li></ul><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>PTSD has a number of symptoms related to intrusion, avoidance, negative changes in thoughts and mood and changes in reactivity.</li> <li>Symptoms need to be present for one month or longer for a diagnosis to be made.</li> <li>Your child’s doctor will interview you and your child to help make a diagnosis.</li> <li>Your child’s doctor might recommend that your child see a mental health professional for a further assessment or therapy or recommend medications.</li> </ul><h3>Intrusion symptoms</h3> <p>Intrusion symptoms are those where the traumatic event 'intrudes' on the child or teen's everyday life. They include:</p> <ul> <li>recurring, unwanted and uncontrolled memories of the traumatic event</li> <li>in children, repetitive play with trauma-related themes</li> <li>recurring dreams related to the traumatic event or the emotions the child or teen felt at the time</li> <li>flashbacks about the event — experiencing the traumatic event again, sometimes with a complete loss of awareness of present surroundings</li> <li>intense and prolonged psychological or physical distress at reminders of the trauma</li> </ul> <h3>Avoidance of stimuli associated with traumatic event</h3> <p>As the term suggests, this involves a child or teen avoiding or trying to avoid all memories, thoughts or feelings related to the event. It can also involve avoiding, or trying to avoid, external reminders (such as people, places, conversations, activities, objects or situations) that bring up distressing memories, thoughts or feelings about the traumatic event.</p> <h3>Negative changes in thoughts and mood</h3> <p>A child or teen with PTSD may:</p> <ul> <li>be unable to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event</li> <li>hold persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about themselves or those around them</li> <li>blame themselves or others for the causes or consequences of the traumatic event because of persistent and distorted thoughts</li> <li>experience ongoing negative emotions such as fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame</li> <li>lose interest in or cut back on activities that once mattered to them</li> <li>feel detached (separate) from others</li> <li>be persistently unable to experience positive emotions such as happiness, satisfaction or love</li> </ul> <h3>Altered reactivity</h3> <p>If a person experiences PTSD, they may be more reactive to their surroundings and what is said to them. For example, they may:</p> <ul> <li>be more irritable or have <a href="https://akhpub.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=301&language=English">angry</a> outbursts with little or no provocation </li> <li>be verbally abusive or physically aggressive towards people or objects, including through extreme temper tantrums</li> <li>be more easily startled or more aware of their surroundings</li> <li>find it hard to concentrate</li> <li>have disturbed sleep</li> <li>engage in reckless or self-destructive behaviour</li> </ul><h2>How PTSD affects children </h2> <p>Although they are less able to express themselves, young children likely have thoughts, memories and/or dreams about a traumatic event. Rather than talking about what they think or remember, they are more likely to be irritable and withdrawn and to play out trauma-related themes.</p> <h2>How PTSD affects teens</h2> <p>Teens may withdraw from their usual activities, <a href="https://akhpub.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=289&language=English">self-harm</a> or engage in impulsive and reckless behaviour such as substance use.</p><h2>How PTSD is diagnosed</h2> <p>Your child's doctor will speak to you and your child and ask you both about:</p> <ul> <li>your concerns and the symptoms that are interfering with your child's everyday functioning</li> <li>the current stressors in your child's life and what could have triggered the onset of the PTSD symptoms</li> <li>your child's development (from pregnancy to the present time)</li> <li>your family's mental health history</li> <li>your family's general functioning and any stressors (such as conflict, impending divorce, bereavement, moving house) that might be contributing to your child's difficulties.</li> </ul> <p>A doctor will only consider PTSD as a diagnosis if your child or teen has been exposed to serious physical injury, sexual violence or actual or threatened death (through violence or by accident). Your child must have either:</p> <ul> <li>directly experienced the violence or injury</li> <li>witnessed the violence or injury in person (not just have seen it on TV, in movies, in videogames or in other media)</li> <li>learned that the violence or injury occurred to a close family member or friend.</li> </ul><h2>What your child's doctor can do for PTSD</h2> <p>If your child is diagnosed with PTSD, you and your child's doctor will decide the most appropriate course of action together. Your doctor may require input from your child's teacher or other family members.</p> <p>Your doctor may also suggest that your child see a <a href="/Article?contentid=2005&language=English">therapist or a psychiatrist</a> or recommend that your child take <a href="/Article?contentid=2005&language=English">medications</a>.</p><h2>Further information</h2> <p>For more information on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), please see the following pages:</p> <p><a href="/Article?contentid=1927&language=English">PTSD: Overview</a></p> <p><a href="/Article?contentid=2005&language=English">PTSD: Treatment with psychotherapy and medications</a></p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/post_trumatic_stress_disorder_signs_and_symptoms.jpgPTSD: Signs and symptoms The main symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are divided into four categories. Learn about these symptoms and about diagnosis.Main
Supporting your child with a neurodevelopmental disorder through the COVID-19 crisisSupporting your child with a neurodevelopmental disorder through the COVID-19 crisisSupporting your child with a neurodevelopmental disorder through the COVID-19 crisisSEnglishPsychiatryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAConditions and diseasesAdult (19+) CaregiversNA2020-04-14T04:00:00Z9.8000000000000057.60000000000003300.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Learn about strategies and ways to help your child with a neurodevelopmental disorder cope during the COVID-19 crisis.</p><h2>Introduction</h2><p>Children with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, can be vulnerable to changes in routines. Unlike school holidays that are known about and can be planned for in advance, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unexpected closures to schools, programs and services. The situation is changing rapidly, and extra planning and support may be needed to help your child to cope with these changes.</p> <h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Communicate at your child’s developmental level and use age-appropriate language.</li><li>Be a positive role model for your child and help them to cope and stay calm.</li><li>Set your child up for success by setting up a reward system, planning daily physical activity and promoting good sleep.</li><li>Watch for changes in your child’s behaviour. These could be signs that your child is becoming more stressed or anxious.</li><li>Use strategies to help manage challenging behaviours at home.</li><li>Know when to seek help if you need it. It is common and normal to feel anxious and stressed during times of crisis.</li></ul> <h2>Communicate at your child’s developmental level</h2><p>Use language that is appropriate for your child’s level of understanding to explain what is happening. Share concrete, visual information in the form of:</p><ul><li>Stories: This <a href="https://childdevcenter.org/news/social-stories-for-kids-about-covid-19/">website</a> has links to several social stories for children about COVID-19</li><li>Cartoons: This <a href="https://www.ppmd.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/The-Corona-Virus-Free-Printable-Updated-2-The-Autism-Educator-.pdf">cartoon</a> helps children understand about the virus and why their routines have changed</li><li>Videos: This <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DlOGKpMNs4">PLAYMOBIL</a> animation can be used to help explain COVID-19</li><li>Websites: Many websites have additional examples of <a href="https://www.kerrysplace.org/covid-19-resources/">communication resources</a></li></ul><p>For children who are non-vocal communicators (who cannot speak), make sure they have access to their communication system (such as pictures and visual boards, type-to-talk devices, tablet or smart phone AAC apps) to ask questions and express their feelings.</p><p>Answer your child’s questions simply and honestly, providing essential, ‘need to know’ information. Let them know you want to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. Try to focus on what will happen today and tomorrow, rather than talking about what will happen in the more distant future.</p><p>Acknowledge your child’s feelings, even if they do not express them out loud. Tell them you understand it must be very hard for them right now because they cannot see their friends and teachers, go to the places they like to visit or do many of the things they like to do. Let them know you are going to help them during this time and make positive statements such as “We will get through this together.” Some children may not want to talk about the current situation; they may express their feelings through play or art. Extra time for creative endeavours can help children process their feelings in their own way.</p><p>For tips on how to talk to your child about COVID-19, read this <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3866&language=English">article</a> or view this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=25&v=WhVad8ToCiU&feature=emb_logo">short video</a>.</p><h2>Help your child to cope and stay calm</h2><p>Children take their cues from their parents and caregivers. If parents and caregivers are anxious or panicked, children will pick up on this and likely feel the same way. Try to be a positive role model for your child by remaining calm and optimistic without giving false hope and making promises you cannot keep. It is OK to tell children that this is hard for you too and that we all need extra help sometimes. If you are having trouble managing, ask for help from family, friends, and if needed, your health-care provider.</p><h3>Routine and predictability</h3><p>Routine and predictability are important for children with neurodevelopmental disorder to feel in control and to make sense of the world around them. Develop a schedule to follow (for links to examples, see the Resource section) and refer to it throughout the day. Some children may prefer you decide what activities are on the schedule. Other children may prefer to have a list of activities they can choose from (use photos of activities for children who don’t read). Some families find that pairing a list of acceptable and desired activities with specific rewards or tokens for completion can give children a sense of control and allow them buy-in while minimizing struggles with parent-enforced transitions. Finding an option that works best for you and your child is key.</p><h3>Identify calming activities</h3><p>Make a list of activities that are calming for your child, such as taking a bath or watching a favourite video, and add these to your schedule. For children with autism spectrum disorder, recognize that repetitive activities (e.g., lining up toys, repeating dialogue from a movie) and stereotypic motor movements (e.g., turning in circles) may help them calm down when they are upset. It may also be necessary to build more calming activities into your child’s schedule and give up some academic or other more challenging tasks.</p><h3>Reduce sensory input</h3><p>Many children with neurodevelopmental disorder experience sensory overload and can become overwhelmed when the environment is too noisy, too crowded, too bright or there are too many things to look at. If possible, it may be helpful to create a new calming spot for your child that is quieter, dimly lit and has fewer visual distractions (especially if they are now confined to a busy home). This calming spot could be in a room that is not used very often or is away from the noise and activity. If space is limited, try to section off part of a larger room to create a smaller space. For younger children, you can cover a table with a sheet to make a private sitting area or pull a couch away from the wall. Consider offering your child earphones, noise cancelling headphones or eye shades.</p><h2>Set your child (and your routines) up for success</h2><p>Identify the best times and most challenging times in the day for your child and plan activities and demands accordingly. If your child is usually better able to handle demands in the mornings, structure learning activities or less preferred tasks during those times. During times when they are feeling tired or bored, different sensory activities can be offered such as deep pressure squeezes, water play, rice bins and light-up toys. Finger painting on windows with children’s paint is also a good activity to try as it can be washed away easily and repeated. There are many suggestions for activities circulating <a href="https://busytoddler.com/">online</a>. If your child needs some time alone, it is a good idea to have a ‘sensory bin’ available for them with items like stress or Koosh balls, slinky toys, spin tops, playdough or modelling clay, and glow sticks.</p><h3>Set up a reward system for your child</h3><p>In addition to following a daily schedule, consider reinforcing (rewarding) your child for completing activities and behaving in appropriate ways with a token system. Tokens can be checkmarks, coins, buttons or other items. Once your child has earned all their tokens, they can exchange them for a preferred item such as a snack, toy or screen time. Let them know how much time they have for their preferred activity and then reset the token system. Choose the appropriate number of tokens based on your child’s abilities. Some children work for four or five tokens before getting their reward whereas others can wait longer and work for 10 or 20 tokens. Some children may not be able to grasp a token exchange system and will need an immediate reward to reinforce a desired behaviour. When a token is given, it should not be taken away regardless of what behaviour follows. Your child is earning tokens as a reward for good behaviour. If they engage in problematic behaviours at other times, do what you can to calm them down and then return to the daily schedule and you can give them a token at that point.</p><h3>Plan daily physical activity</h3><p>Some children need frequent movement breaks throughout the day. This can be challenging to do indoors, but there are some activities that can be done safely and use up some of that energy. Activities such as jumping jacks, bouncing on yoga balls or a mini trampoline, and even timed races from one side of a room to another are possible, and an adult should be present to supervise. You can move furniture to the centre of the room so that your child can run around it. You can play ‘the floor is lava’ throughout the home by putting down sheets of paper as the ‘rocks’ you are allowed to step on. There are also many children’s workout and yoga videos available online including some with popular characters. If you are not strictly isolating at home, then plan regular hikes or playing in a field or backyard. Avoid public play structures or parks as it may be hard for your child or youth to be told they cannot use the equipment.</p><h3>Promote good sleep</h3><p>It is important to promote good sleep during these stressful times. Disrupted sleep can be a sign that your child is having difficulty coping. It can also contribute to behaviour changes in your child.</p><p>Strategies to promote good sleep hygiene include:</p><ul><li>Maintaining a regular bedtime routine. Try to keep bedtime and wake up times consistent.</li><li>Creating an environment in your child’s bedroom that encourages sleep. A cooler temperature, dark or dim light, and quiet are ideal. Some children like white noise. If possible, avoid the use of screens (i.e., phone, computer, tablets) in the bedroom, and minimize access to stimulating and preferred toys in the bedroom at night.</li><li>Avoiding certain foods too close to bedtime as they can interfere with sleep. For example, eating large meals, sugar and chocolate too close to bedtime can keep children awake at night.<br></li><li>Limiting screen time if possible for about an hour before bedtime.</li><li>Encouraging relaxation before bed:</li><ul><li>Encourage quiet activities such as reading (together or independently) or listening to soothing music.</li><li>Practise relaxation techniques such as <a href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Stess%20Busters%20Deep%20Breathing%20Resource%20combined.pdf">deep breathing</a>, guided meditation or progressive muscle relaxation. Some children also enjoy receiving a massage.</li><li>Defer ‘worry time’ until the next day. If your child is anxious and asking a lot of questions, reassure them, and try to direct them to talk about it during a set time the next day, but not before bed.</li></ul></ul><h2>Watch for changes in your child’s behaviour</h2><p>Be on the lookout for signs your child is becoming more stressed or anxious. This may be new behaviour you have not seen before or existing behaviour that becomes more intense or lasts longer than usual. Examples of behaviours can include pacing, yelling, crying, hitting or throwing objects. Other children may appear more shut down or withdrawn. If possible, try to talk to your child about what may be upsetting them and identify what to do next. This could include providing validation and reassurance, offering to help them with a task they find frustrating, directing them to a quiet space to calm down, checking the schedule to see what is coming up next or offering different activities to choose from (this strategy is known as distraction and redirection). Children who are hungry, fatigued or feel unwell may also show changes in their behaviour, so it is important to identify and address possible sources of pain or discomfort. Be flexible with the daily schedule if it seems to be making behaviours worse.</p><h2>Use strategies to manage challenging behaviours at home</h2><h3>Ensure a safe environment</h3><p>Sometimes when children become very upset or distressed, they are unable to control their emotions, and this can result in tantrums or “meltdowns”. During a meltdown, a child may, for example, scream, use angry language, hit others or themselves and throw things around. First and foremost, parents and caregivers need to stay calm. If possible, direct your child to a safe space where the tantrum can run its course while keeping everyone (and the environment) safe. If this is not possible, then try to make the space around your child safe by removing furniture that can be toppled over or objects that could be damaged or thrown. You may need to put down cushions, mats or blankets to protect your child from injury due to falling to the floor. Stand close by to supervise but not so close that you may get hit and be aware of exits to ensure your child does not run away. It can be helpful to have a room (or part of a room) in the home where the environment has been made safe in advance; this could include removing breakable or very heavy objects, securing tall furniture and having available preferred and soothing objects.</p><h3>Let the meltdown run its course</h3><p>For many children, tantrum or meltdown behaviours are signs of over-arousal and loss of control. Efforts to negotiate, reason with, punish or “bribe” children during a meltdown often make things worse. Try not to reward tantrum behaviours such as by giving in to previous requests or defaulting to screen time, as it can make tantrums occur more often. Stand nearby quietly, or gently hold or hug your child if that is safer. Occasionally make gentle soothing statements, for example, “I’m here for you when you need me,” or offer a distraction or solution by saying for example, “When you are feeling ready, we can read a book or have a snack.” Avoid complex sentences or detailed explanations or instructions. Most children cannot think rationally during these times and will be unable to respond to even simple demands or suggestions.</p><h3>Identify common triggers and make a plan</h3><p>Certain times of the day, particular activities starting or ending, or specific stressors may regularly trigger challenging behaviours for your child. During a calm time, it can be helpful to develop a family strategy to address this (with or without your child’s involvement) in advance. Some children benefit from using behavioural strategies to reinforce desired behaviours (while often ignoring or redirecting undesired behaviours). Some children may need extra direct teaching and practice to learn self-regulation skills.</p><h2>A behavioural strategy is a plan to improve a specific behaviour that is challenging</h2><p> <strong>Step 1. Pick one behaviour.</strong> Select one specific target behaviour to start with (e.g., reduce meltdowns and aggression when the tablet is turned off). It may be tempting to address several behaviours, but it is key to start with one specific behaviour.</p><p> <strong>Step 2. Make your child part of the team.</strong> During a calm period, discuss with your child that you want to help them improve the specific behaviour that you identified in Step 1. For example, you could say “I notice when it is time to turn off your game, things get really difficult for everyone. We are going to try a new plan today when that happens.” As much as possible, try to see your child as a member of the same team; you are working together to improve the target behaviour. If the behaviour occurs in specific situations, do your best to ensure those trigger moments are predictable for your child. For this example, you could say, “From now on, all screens have to be turned off at 12:00 p.m. as everyone has to come for lunch.”</p><p> <strong>Step 3: Small steps.</strong> Break the desired outcome into small steps and start with a reasonable and attainable goal that your child sometimes meets already. For example, a first step could include having your child go to their room for a break for a few minutes to calm down before lunch, using a coping skill such as deep breaths or jumping jacks or keeping their hands gentle and arms down. Maybe your child can help decide what are reasonable steps towards the end goal. This way, they will feel part of the team.</p><p> <strong>Step 4: Good behaviour deserves a reward.</strong> This is a step where your child may be eager to help decide what are reasonable rewards that can be gained for each step. You can consider using a token system so that your child can earn and collect tokens that can later be exchanged for a reward.</p><p> <strong>Step 5. Give time for transitions.</strong> Help your child prepare by giving friendly warnings. For example, with the example above, you should provide a warning at 11:55 a.m., and remind your child once of the new plan.</p><p> <strong>Step 6. Execute your plan, together.</strong> When the plan is in action, wait for things to settle. With the example above, your child may became upset but is able to go to their room and calm down. Congratulate your child for having accomplished, or having attempted to accomplish, the first step towards better dealing with frustration and provide them with a token.</p><h3>A few ground rules</h3><p> <em>Do not take away tokens</em> or provide rewards for non-compliance. A good and honest attempt should be rewarded, even if the entire goal was not met.</p><p> <em>Be flexible</em>: If your child is not meeting the goal, make the first step smaller and more attainable.</p><p>It is best to reward active behaviours (e.g., keeping their hands gentle) as opposed to rewarding them for not doing something (e.g., not hitting).</p><p> <em>Follow through with consequences.</em> If some behaviours do merit a clear consequence, this should be separate from their rewards. Autism Speaks Canada has a <em> <a href="https://www.autismspeaks.ca/science-services-resources/resources/tool-kits/challenging-behaviors-tool-kit1/">Challenging Behaviour Toolkit</a></em> that can be requested.</p><h2>Know when to seek help</h2><p>These are especially challenging times, perhaps more so for parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorder. Some or all of the carefully organized supports and routines are discontinued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.</p><p>It is common and normal to feel anxious, afraid or irritable under these extreme circumstances. Most importantly, as parents and caregivers, we all need to do our best to be supportive, caring and loving to our children during times of stress.</p><p>Pay attention to your own mental health and seek <a href="https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19">help and care</a> if you need it. Social isolation and high levels of stress can be overwhelming for everyone. It is OK for parents to step away, take breaks and seek help when needed. It may also be helpful to monitor your own screen time and news consumption and try to limit this if you feel it increases your level of stress.<br></p><p>At present, the health-care system is under pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the regular services your child uses may be temporarily unavailable, and access to some crisis services may be restricted. At the same time, new services are being created to provide online support and advice. Service availability and accessibility may continue to change for as long as the pandemic is present. Therefore, it is advised that you reach out to your regular care team (therapist, pediatrician, family doctor, autism or developmental centre), explain the problem you are facing with your child and ask for support. Your regular health-care provider will have the latest information regarding services. Some children may require a new medication or a change in medication to help them get through this time safely at home.</p><h2>What do if there is a crisis</h2><ul><li>It can be helpful to have a ‘crisis plan’ prepared in advance. This can involve identifying coping strategies for parents and children, as well as identifying key supports and individuals, and how to contact them. Letting professional and family support people know in advance that you may be calling on them in a time of crisis can help everyone be prepared.</li><li>If the situation allows, call your regular care team (therapist, pediatrician, family doctor) as they should have the latest information regarding emergency mental health care services.</li><li>Call 911, highlight the mental health or behavioural concern and ask if a mobile crisis team is available to respond instead of the traditional approach. This will not always be possible.</li><li>If you feel that presentation to the emergency department is required, please call them first. Because of COVID-19, there may be restrictions or specific regulations in place that can help protect you and your child against possible contamination (or protect health-care workers and other patients).</li></ul><h2>Additional Resources</h2><p> <strong>Online toolkit for supporting individuals with ASD during the crisis</strong><br><a href="https://ed.unc.edu/2020/03/19/unc-team-creates-online-toolkit-for-those-supporting-individuals-with-autism-during-covid-19-epidemic/">https://ed.unc.edu/2020/03/19/unc-team-creates-online-toolkit-for-those-supporting-individuals-with-autism-during-covid-19-epidemic/</a></p><p> <strong>Tips for daily schedules in ADHD</strong><br><a href="https://www.additudemag.com/daily-schedule-coronavirus-home-school/">https://www.additudemag.com/daily-schedule-coronavirus-home-school/</a></p><p> <strong>Excellent videos and cartoons to help explain the situation to kids</strong><br><a href="https://mailchi.mp/779134e78b2d/covid-19-and-down-syndrome-updates?fbclid=IwAR1v1GF4SX_h54UAeYreS63c8XFP_2L9pulsjcMXkvrl3sdlz5DmobbTOhc">https://mailchi.mp/779134e78b2d/covid-19-and-down-syndrome-updates?fbclid=IwAR1v1GF4SX_h54UAeYreS63c8XFP_2L9pulsjcMXkvrl3sdlz5DmobbTOhc</a></p><p> <strong>E-Learning for Children with Down Syndrome (American resources)</strong><br><a href="https://mailchi.mp/e5af25bdf396/covid-19-and-down-syndrome-updates-1348871?fbclid=IwAR0IHLwpc01hSxtKxCNedyEP5pf8Yv1o5WpySTaNgRFuCsaYLHtW7Z2vU4g">https://mailchi.mp/e5af25bdf396/covid-19-and-down-syndrome-updates-1348871?fbclid=IwAR0IHLwpc01hSxtKxCNedyEP5pf8Yv1o5WpySTaNgRFuCsaYLHtW7Z2vU4g</a></p><p> <strong>How to talk to your kids about Coronavirus</strong><br><a href="https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-coronavirus">https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-coronavirus</a></p><p> <strong>Autism Speaks Canada has a challenging behavior toolkit</strong><br><a href="https://www.autismspeaks.ca/science-services-resources/resources/tool-kits/challenging-behaviors-tool-kit1/">https://www.autismspeaks.ca/science-services-resources/resources/tool-kits/challenging-behaviors-tool-kit1/</a></p><p> <strong>Visual schedules, reward systems and social stories</strong><br>Resources for special educators, therapists and families<br><a href="https://connectability.ca/2020/03/30/dealing-with-covid-19-resources-for-special-educators-therapists-families/">https://connectability.ca/2020/03/30/dealing-with-covid-19-resources-for-special-educators-therapists-families/</a></p><p>Visual support and schedules<br> <a href="https://www.kidsability.ca/uploads/Autism%20Services/AutismServices_VisualSupportsHandout.pdf">https://www.kidsability.ca/uploads/Autism%20Services/AutismServices_VisualSupportsHandout.pdf</a><br> <span><a href="https://www.naturalbeachliving.com/daily-visual-schedule/">https://www.naturalbeachliving.com/daily-visual-schedule/</a></span><br> <a href="https://adayinourshoes.com/free-printable-visual-schedules-for-home-and-daily-routines/">https://adayinourshoes.com/free-printable-visual-schedules-for-home-and-daily-routines/</a><br> <a href="https://www.sparklebox.co.uk/1801-1805/sb1801.html#.VQGfXI7F_1Z">https://www.sparklebox.co.uk/1801-1805/sb1801.html#.VQGfXI7F_1Z</a><br> <a href="https://do2learn.com/picturecards/VisualSchedules/index.htm">https://do2learn.com/picturecards/VisualSchedules/index.htm</a></p><p>Visual schedule maker<br><a href="https://connectability.ca/visuals-engine/">https://connectability.ca/visuals-engine/</a></p><p>Token Reward Systems<br><em>Explanation of a token system</em><br><a href="http://www.educateautism.com/token-economy.html">http://www.educateautism.com/token-economy.html</a><br><em>Examples of token systems</em><br><a href="https://www.earlywood.org/Page/558">https://www.earlywood.org/Page/558</a><br><a href="https://www.verywellfamily.com/create-a-token-economy-system-to-improve-child-behavior-1094888">https://www.verywellfamily.com/create-a-token-economy-system-to-improve-child-behavior-1094888</a></p><p>First/Then Boards – simple activity and reward system<br> <a href="https://www.erinoakkids.ca/ErinoakKids/files/f9/f9e82917-4dc7-40ca-901e-3a27591b2c0a.pdf">https://www.erinoakkids.ca/ErinoakKids/files/f9/f9e82917-4dc7-40ca-901e-3a27591b2c0a.pdf</a><br><a href="https://autismclassroomresources.com/visual-schedule-series-first-then/">https://autismclassroomresources.com/visual-schedule-series-first-then/</a><br><a href="https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/Leadership/Ward12/AutismHandout_First-Then%20Strategy.pdf">https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/Leadership/Ward12/AutismHandout_First-Then%20Strategy.pdf</a></p><p> <strong>Social Stories</strong><br> <em>Explanation of a social story</em><br> <a href="https://autismcanada.org/living-with-autism/treatments/non-medical/communication/social-stories/">https://autismcanada.org/living-with-autism/treatments/non-medical/communication/social-stories/</a><br> <em>COVID19 social stories</em><br> <a href="https://www.flipsnack.com/KeshetChicago/coronavirus-social-story/full-view.html">https://www.flipsnack.com/KeshetChicago/coronavirus-social-story/full-view.html</a><br> <a href="https://theautismeducator.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/The-Corona-Virus-Free-Printable-Updated-2-The-Autism-Educator-.pdf">https://theautismeducator.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/The-Corona-Virus-Free-Printable-Updated-2-The-Autism-Educator-.pdf</a></p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Supporting_your_child_with_a_neurodevelopmental_disorder_through_the_COVID-19_crisis.jpgCOVID-19: Supporting your childMain



Head injury and concussionHead injury and concussionHead injury and concussionHEnglishNeurologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainBrainConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)Headache;Nausea;Vision problems;Vomiting2019-02-21T05:00:00Z8.6000000000000064.0000000000000922.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Learn how to recognize a concussion after a head injury and when to see a doctor or seek emergency care. </p><p>​​​A head injury can happen when a child hits their head or when there is a blow to another part of the body that causes the head to spin or jolt. Head injuries caused by falls are especially common when children are learning to walk or ride a bike or are taking part in recreational or competitive activities.</p><p>Most head injuries are minor and result in no symptoms or physical changes, but sometimes they can result in bumps, bruises or swelling to the scalp.</p><p>Sometimes, what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious and cause a concussion. This is a risk with any head injury.</p><p>A concussion may result from a:</p><ul><li>direct impact to the head, neck or face</li><li>fall</li><li>blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move back and forth</li></ul><p>A concussion is an "invisible" brain injury that affects the way your child thinks and remembers. It cannot be seen on X-rays, MRIs or other forms of brain imaging.</p>​<h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Most head injuries are minor.</li><li>Any head injury puts your child at risk for concussion.</li><li>If you think that your child has had a concussion, they should see a doctor on the same day that the head injury occurs.</li><li>If your child has signs of a concussion during a sports activity, they should stop participating immediately and see a doctor.</li><li>A doctor will examine your child and may recommend further tests or, if concussion is diagnosed, provide a post-concussion management plan and prescribe rest.</li><li>Watch your child after a head injury. If you see signs that your child is getting worse, take them to the nearest emergency department or call 911 right away.</li></ul><h2>Signs and symptoms of a concussion</h2><p>Your child does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion. In younger children, symptoms may not be clear and may be difficult for them to explain.</p><p>After a concussion, your child may experience some of the signs and symptoms below.</p><h3>Physical changes</h3><ul><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=29&language=English">Headache</a></li><li>Nausea or <a href="/Article?contentid=746&language=English">vomiting</a></li><li>Vision changes</li><li>Loss of consciousness</li><li>Irritation from light or sound</li><li>Loss of balance, poor co-ordination</li><li>Decreased playing ability</li></ul><h3>Changes in behaviour</h3><ul><li>Irritability</li><li>Sadness</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=18&language=English">Anxiety</a></li><li>Inappropriate emotions</li></ul><h3>Thinking problems</h3><ul><li>Slowed reaction times</li><li>Confusion</li><li>Memory loss or difficulty concentrating</li><li>Feeling dazed</li></ul><h3>Trouble with sleep</h3><ul><li>Drowsiness</li><li>Trouble falling asleep</li><li>Sleeping more than usual</li><li>Sleeping less than usual</li></ul><p>Some symptoms may appear right away. However, in some cases, signs and symptoms evolve over a number of minutes to hours. In addition, symptoms may change over time. Your child may look fine even though they are acting or feeling differently.</p><p>Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully. But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children and teens. If the symptoms of a concussion do not go away after 21 days, your child will need to be reassessed by a doctor.</p><p>Those who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one and may take longer to recover from a second or further concussion.</p><h2>Taking care of your child after a head injury</h2><h3>Wound care</h3><p>If your child has cut themselves, clean the wound with warm water and soap. To control any bleeding, gently press down on the wound with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. If the cut is large or deep, your child will need to see a doctor as they may require stitches.</p><p>If there is swelling over the injured area, wrap some ice in a cloth and hold it over the swelling for 20 minutes.</p><h3>Concussion</h3><p>If you think that your child has had a concussion, take them to a doctor on the same day that the head injury occurs. If the concussion occurs during a sporting activity, your child should stop the activity immediately; if they continue, they are at greater risk for another injury.</p><h2>When to see a doctor for a head injury</h2><p>See a doctor if your child has a deep cut that requires stitches or if you suspect that your child has a concussion.</p><p>Your child's doctor will assess your child for any physical, cognitive and neurological symptoms, for example any swelling, concentration difficulties or problems with vision or co-ordination. Your child may need to have a brain scan or be admitted to hospital if their symptoms are getting worse or are not improving.</p><p>If your doctor diagnoses your child with a concussion, they will prescribe rest from physical and cognitive (for example problem-solving or memory-based) activities. Your child's doctor should also give you a post-concussion management plan for your child.</p><h2>When to seek emergency care for a head injury</h2><p>Take your child to the nearest emergency department, or call 911, if your child is showing signs of a more serious brain injury.</p><h3>Signs and symptoms of a serious brain injury in babies</h3><ul><li>Poor feeding</li><li>Repeated vomiting (throwing up) after a head injury</li><li>Being unable to stop crying or be consoled</li><li>Appearing very drowsy and unable to be awakened</li><li>Seizures</li><li>Tense bulging of the fontanelle (soft spot on top of head)</li></ul><h3>Signs and symptoms of a serious brain injury in children and teenagers</h3><ul><li>A headache that does not go away or gets worse</li><li>Repeated vomiting (throwing up)</li><li>Confusion, agitation or unusual behaviour</li><li>Trouble seeing, speaking or walking</li><li>Weakness, numbness or decreased co-ordination of an arm or leg</li><li>Drowsiness (sleepiness) or decreased consciousness</li><li>Seizures (convulsions)</li></ul><img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/head_injury_concussion.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />concussionconcussionhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/head_injury_concussion.jpgMain
Insect bitesInsect bitesInsect bitesIEnglishDermatologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)SkinSkinConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2014-05-30T04:00:00Z7.9000000000000061.0000000000000797.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Discover how to recognize, treat and prevent insect bites and bee stings, and when to seek medical attention. </p><p>Insect bites and stings occur when an insect feeds off a person's skin or tries to defend itself.</p><p>Different insects bite and sting in different ways. Common biting or stinging insects include mosquitoes, blackflies, bed bugs, fleas, ticks, fire ants, bees and wasps. Bees often leave stingers in the wound.</p><p>Insect bites usually cause mild swelling, redness and itchiness limited to the small area around the bite or sting. Some children, however, can experience potentially life-threatening reactions. This is called an anaphylactic reaction and requires immediate medical attention. In children who are at risk, <a href="/Article?contentid=781&language=English">anaphylaxis</a> is most commonly caused by bees, wasps and hornets. Other insects can transmit disease. For example, some mosquitoes can transmit malaria or West Nile virus and some ticks can transmit Lyme disease.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>Insect bites often cause swelling and redness. Some children experience severe and potentially life-threatening reactions.</li> <li>Common biting or stinging insects include mosquitoes, blackflies, bees and wasps.</li> <li>Some children respond well to antihistamine medication; others may just need some ice.</li> <li>Prevent insect bites and stings by covering the body with light-coloured clothing and applying insect repellent to exposed skin.</li> <li>DEET is a very effective insect repellent, but use it carefully according to your child's age. If using sunscreen and insect repellent, apply sunscreen first.</li> </ul><h2>Signs and symptoms of an insect bite or sting</h2><p>Signs and symptoms of insect bites and stings vary according to the type of insect and your child's reaction.</p><p>Normally, an insect bite or sting causes:</p><ul><li>a small, red, raised bump, pimple or blisters</li><li>itchiness and irritation around the bump.</li></ul><p>The symptoms can last from a few hours up to two days.<br></p><p>Some children develop a big firm swollen area around the bite. This is not an allergic reaction. It is known as a large local reaction and rarely leads to a skin infection.</p><p>If your child has an anaphylactic reaction, they may develop <a href="/article?contentid=789&language=English">hives</a>, facial or mouth swelling, or breathing problems or they may collapse. Use an epinephrine auto-injector, if your child has one, and call for emergency assistance.</p><h2>How to treat insect bites and stings</h2> <ul> <li>Cold, damp compresses or ice can relieve some of the swelling.</li> <li>Over-the counter topical medications (medications you put on the skin) may also help to relieve the itch.</li> </ul> <p>Some children may respond well to antihistamine medication for itching, but this medication can cause drowsiness.</p><h2>Preventing insect bites and stings</h2> <p>Your child is more likely to be bitten or stung in warm and damp weather and in the evening and at night. Here are some ways you can reduce your child's exposure to insects.</p> <ul> <li>Apply insecticide or insect repellent to clothing and exposed skin.</li> <li>Wear long pants and socks.</li> <li>Wear light-coloured clothing.</li> <li>Avoid areas where insects breed and live.</li> <li>Stay inside when insects are most active.</li> <li>Use insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets, especially for infants aged less than six months.</li> <li>Take specific precautions, such as taking anti-malarial medications, as needed.</li> </ul> <h3>Be careful with DEET insect repellent</h3> <p>DEET is one of the most effective repellents for mosquitoes and biting flies, but it should be used with caution for children.</p> <ul> <li>Babies less than six months old: Do not use any insect repellents with DEET.</li> <li>Children aged six months to two years: Use a product with 10 per cent DEET or less and apply it once a day.</li> <li>Children aged two to 12 years: Use a product with 10 per cent DEET or less and apply it no more than three times a day.</li> <li>Children aged over 12: Use a product with up to 30 per cent DEET.</li> </ul> <p>The higher the amount of DEET, the longer the protection will last.</p> <h3>How to apply DEET to your child's skin</h3> <ul> <li>Apply it to exposed skin, following the manufacturer's instructions.</li> <li>Do not apply it to your child's face or hands or any areas where the skin is cut, grazed or irritated.</li> <li>Once the DEET is applied, wash hands and avoid touching the lips and eyes.</li> </ul> <h3>How to use insect repellent and sunscreen effectively</h3> <ul> <li>Apply <a href="/Article?contentid=308&language=English">sunscreen</a> about 30 minutes before you apply any insect repellent.</li> <li>Do not use a single product that combines insect repellent with sunscreen. The insect repellent can make the sunscreen less effective and the sunscreen can increase how much insect repellent is absorbed by the body. In addition, you will normally need to apply sunscreen every two to three hours; it is not safe to apply insect repellent as frequently.</li> </ul><h2>When to see a doctor after an insect bite or sting</h2> <p>If your child has been bitten or stung, see a doctor right away if:</p> <ul> <li>you are in an area where the insects are known to transmit diseases</li> <li>your child develops an unusual rash, a <a href="/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a> or other symptoms.</li> </ul>insectbitesinsectbiteshttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/insect_bites.jpgMain
Spina bifidaSpina bifidaSpina bifidaSEnglishNeurologyNewborn (0-28 days)SpineSpinal CordConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NAhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/spina_bifida_V2_EN.jpg2017-11-07T05:00:00Z9.4000000000000056.00000000000002064.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Spina bifida occurs when a baby’s spine and spinal cord do not develop properly in the womb, leaving an opening in the spine. Learn about the four different types of spina bifida, their causes and how it is diagnosed.</p><h2>What is spina bifida?</h2><p>The spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. It floats in a liquid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This liquid nourishes and protects the brain and spinal cord. The CSF is covered by a lining made of three thin layers called the meninges. This lining is normally protected by the bones of the back (the vertebrae).</p><p>In people with spina bifida, the bones that protect the spinal cord have not formed completely while the baby is developing in the mother’s womb. This leaves the lining, the CSF, and the spinal cord unprotected. This happens very early in pregnancy.</p><p>Spina bifida can happen anywhere along a baby’s back between the head and the hips. It happens most often in the lower back. This area is called the lumbar or lumbosacral spine.</p><p>Children with spina bifida may have health problems because of this condition. They may experience changes or loss of feeling in their legs, have decreased movement of their legs or not be able to move their legs at all. They may also have problems with their bladder and bowel function.</p><p>About 2.6 in every 10,000 babies are born with some form of spina bifida.</p><h2>The four main types of spina bifida</h2><p>There are four main types of spina bifida:</p><ul><li>spina bifida occulta</li><li>lipomyelomeningocele</li><li>meningocele</li><li>myelomeningocele</li></ul><p>“Meningo” refers to the lining of the vertebral canal. “Myelo” refers to the spinal cord itself. “Cele” means something bulging out.</p> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Types of spina bifida</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/spina_bifida_V2_EN.jpg" alt="Vertebrae, spinal cord and meninges in normal spine, and illustrations of spines with the four forms of spina bifida" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">There are four common types of spina bifida: spina bifida occulta, lipomyelomeningocele, meningocele and myelomeningocele. Spina bifida occurs when a baby’s spine and spinal cord do not develop properly in the womb, leaving an opening in the spine. When this happens the spinal fluid, the nerves and the lining of the spinal cord (meninges) can bulge out through this defect in the baby’s back.</figcaption> </figure> <h3>Spina bifida occulta</h3><p>Spina bifida occulta is the mildest form of spina bifida. It occurs when a small section of the outer part of the vertebrae (the bones of the spine) have not completely closed, leaving an opening. In this type of spina bifida, the spinal cord and its coverings (the meninges) are usually not damaged and they do not protrude or bulge through the opening. There may be a dimple, tuft of hair, birthmark or fatty bulge at the site of the defect. This type of spina bifida may not be detected before birth. Many people may have this type of spina bifida and not be aware of it.</p><h3>Lipomyelomeningocele</h3><p>A lipomyelomeningocele (ly-po-my-low-meh-nin-go-seal) is a form of spina bifida where the outer part of the vertebrae have not completely closed, leaving an opening. Some abnormal fatty tissue pushes through the opening and may cause compression of the nerves.</p><h3>Meningocele</h3><p>A meningocele (meh-nin-go-seal) is a more severe form of spina bifida. It occurs when the outer part of the vertebrae have not completely closed, leaving an opening. The spinal cord itself may not be affected, but its protective coverings (the meninges) may be damaged and pushed through the opening to form a sac containing CSF. This sac is often covered with skin.</p><p>With a meningocele, the spinal cord stays inside the back where it belongs. This means that children with a meningocele may have normal movement and normal feeling in their legs and feet.</p><h3>Myelomeningocele</h3> <p>A myelomeningocele (my-low-meh-nin-go-cele) is the most severe form of spina bifida. It occurs when the outer part of the vertebrae have not completely closed, leaving an opening. With a myelomeningocele, both the covering of the spinal cord (the meninges) and the spinal cord itself are pushed out through the opening. Usually they protrude into a covered, fluid-filled sac that has a very thin membrane and can easily split, exposing its delicate contents.</p><p>Because part of the spinal cord bulges into the sac, the spinal cord fails to develop properly and nerves are damaged. Most children with a myelomeningocele will have some difficulty with movement and feeling in their legs and feet, and may be paralyzed.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Spina bifida means that the bones that protect the spinal cord have not formed completely.</li><li>In babies with spina bifida, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the nerves and the lining of the spinal cord can bulge out through a defect in the baby’s back.</li><li>There are four common types of spina bifida: Myelomeningocele, meningocele, lipomyelomeningocele and spina bifida occulta.</li><li>What causes spina bifida is unknown but spina bifida and other neural tube defects are less likely to occur when women get enough folic acid.</li></ul><h2>Causes of spina bifida</h2><p>All of the causes of spina bifida are not known but there are genetic, environmental and nutritional risks linked to spina bifida.</p><ul><li>Some spina bifida is found in families, meaning there may be a genetic link.</li><li>What you eat during pregnancy may have an impact on healthy growth of the spinal cord.</li><li>Some medications that interfere with the body’s ability to use folate and folic acid could increase risk.</li><li>Women with diabetes whose blood sugars are not well controlled have a higher risk.</li><li>Increased body temperature (for example from using a sauna or hot tub) in early weeks of pregnancy may increase risk.</li></ul><p>Spina bifida and other neural tube defects are less likely to occur when women get enough folic acid. These defects occur in early pregnancy, often before many women even know they are pregnant. If there is any possibility of becoming pregnant, it is important to have a well-balanced diet rich in folic acid. If you are planning to become pregnant, it is essential that you begin taking folic acid daily, at least three or four months before you start trying to conceive. Talk with your doctor about the right dosage for you. The usual recommended dose is 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid a day. Often this can be found in a prenatal vitamin. If you have had a pregnancy affected by spina bifida, or a family history of spina bifida or are taking certain medications, you may require a higher dose of folic acid.</p><h2>Diagnosis of spina bifida</h2><p>Spina bifida can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after the baby is born.</p><h3>During pregnancy</h3><p>There are tests that can be done during pregnancy that can indicate if the baby has a high chance of having spina bifida.</p><ul><li>Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test – AFP is a protein made by unborn babies. AFP crosses from the baby through the placenta to the mother. A test is done that measures AFP levels in the mother's blood. If there are high levels of AFP in the mother's blood this might mean that the baby has spina bifida.</li><li>Ultrasound – this is a common test during pregnancy that allows health-care providers to see images of the unborn baby. In some cases, an ultrasound can show if the baby has spina bifida.</li><li>Amniocentesis – this is a test that takes a small sample of amniotic fluid from the mother’s womb. If this fluid has a higher than average level of AFP then the baby might have spina bifida.</li><li>Fetal MRI – if initial tests suggest there is a high chance of spina bifida then a fetal MRI can be done. This is an MRI that is done on the pregnant mother to assess the unborn baby.</li></ul><p>Spina bifida occulta may not be diagnosed until late childhood, adulthood or may not be diagnosed at all.</p><h2>Treatment of spina bifida</h2><p>Meningocele where only the meninges are pushed through the opening and myelomeningocele where the meninges and spinal cord are pushed out through the opening are both treated with surgery. Older infants and young children with lipomyelomeningocele may require surgery if they develop symptoms. Spina bifida occulta does not usually require treatment.</p><p>To learn more about the treatment of spina bifida please read <a href="/Article?contentid=2532&language=English">Spina bifida: Treatment and caring for your child after surgical repair</a>.</p><h2>Health problems linked to or caused by spina bifida</h2><p>Every child with spina bifida is different with their own medical, mobility and learning challenges. Some children may only be mildly affected while others may have more severe disabilities. Being born with spina bifida brings life-long challenges. Your child’s health-care team will work together with you to help your child achieve their greatest potential.</p><p>The following health issues are common for children with spina bifida.</p><h3>Hydrocephalus</h3><p>About 80 percent of babies born with spina bifida, primarily those with myelomeningocele, will also have <a href="/Article?contentid=858&language=English">hydrocephalus</a>. Hydrocephalus is an abnormal build-up of CSF in the ventricles inside the brain.</p><h3>Chiari malformation</h3><p>Nearly all babies born with myelomeningocele have a <a href="/Article?contentid=853&language=English">Chiari malformation</a> type 2. This is when the lower part of the brain (the brainstem) sits too low in your child’s upper spine area. Some children with Chiari malformation type 2 may have feeding problems (for example, weak suck when feeding, gagging, choking, trouble swallowing), breathing trouble and some may have weakness of the arms. Surgery may be required to decrease the pressure on the lower part of the brain.</p><h3>Leg function (movement) and sensation (feeling)</h3><p>In children with spina bifida, the nerves in the spinal canal are often damaged or improperly formed, and therefore they may not able to control the muscles properly or sometimes feel properly. Some children may be paralyzed, not able to move their legs at all, while others can stand and walk to some extent.</p><h3>Muscles and bones</h3><p>Muscles and bones may also be affected by spina bifida. A baby with spina bifida may be born with <a href="/Article?contentid=1192&language=English">clubfoot</a>, this is when the baby's feet are turned in at the ankle.</p><p>The baby's hips may also be affected as different muscles may be stronger than others interfering with how the hips move and function. This can cause dislocation of the hip.</p><p>Muscles around the spine may also be affected. Any difference in muscle strength can affect the position of the spine and cause an abnormal curve.</p><p>If your child has clubfoot or any leg bone issues an orthopaedic surgeon will speak to you about options for correcting this in the future.</p><h3>Bladder problems</h3><p>With spina bifida, the nerves that tell the bladder to empty and release urine (pee) are often weak or not working. This means you may have to help your baby to pee and empty their bladder. When your baby is born, a tube or catheter will be put inside their bladder through the urethra every few hours to see if they can pee on their own and empty their bladder. The urethra is the tube inside the body that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. If your baby is unable to fully empty their bladder, they are at risk for an infection and possibly damage to their kidneys. You may need to learn how to empty your baby’s bladder using a catheter before you can take them home. Instructions for <a href="/Article?contentid=978&language=English">boys</a> and <a href="/Article?contentid=979&language=English">girls</a> are slightly different. A member of the urology team will talk to you about this.</p><h3>Bowel problems</h3><p>Sometimes the nerves that make the bowels move are weak or not working. The nurse will be assessing how well your baby’s bowels move. The nurse can teach you how to help your baby’s bowels move better and how to protect your baby’s skin around their anus.</p><h3>Latex allergies/sensitivity</h3><p>Babies with spina bifida have a high risk of developing a latex sensitivity or allergy. It is important to make sure that products such as gloves, catheters and soothers do not contain latex.</p><h3>Tethered cord</h3><p>In children with spina bifida, sometimes the spinal cord gets stuck at the site where the vertebrae have not closed completely. This is called a <a href="/Article?contentid=861&language=English">tethered cord</a>.</p><h2>Looking ahead</h2><p>Babies born with spina bifida require ongoing assessment as they grow and develop. They will be followed by a number of different medical teams. Some children may be in special spina bifida clinics.</p><h2>Resources</h2><p>There are many resources available to help you learn more about spina bifida.</p><p>Spina Bifida and Hydrocepahlus Association of Ontario<br> <a href="http://www.sbhao.on.ca/" target="_blank">http://www.sbhao.on.ca/</a></p><p>Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital<br> <a href="http://www.hollandbloorview.ca/" target="_blank">http://www.hollandbloorview.ca/</a></p><p>Public Health Agency of Canada. (2013). <em>Congenital Anomalies in Canada 2013: A Perinatal Health Surveillance Report</em>. Retrieved from http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2014/aspc-phac/HP35-40-2013-eng.pdf.</p> June is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Learn about the four different types of spina bifida, their causes and how it is diagnosed.Main
Thyroid disease and diabetesThyroid disease and diabetesThyroid disease and diabetesTEnglishEndocrinologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Pancreas;ThyroidEndocrine systemConditions and diseasesAdult (19+)NAhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_thyroid_gland_EN.jpg2017-11-20T05:00:00Z11.600000000000024.4000000000000343.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Learn about thyroid disease and diabetes including the causes and signs and symptoms.</p><h2>​​What is the thyroid?</h2> <p>The thyroid is a gland located in the middle of the lower front of the neck. It produces hormones (called thyroid hormones) that are important for:</p> <ul><li>growth</li> <li>body temperature control</li> <li>digestion</li> <li>body weight</li> <li>mood.</li></ul><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Despite proper diabetes control, 20-25% of people with type 1 diabetes will develop thyroid problems.</li> <li>Thyroid problems include Hashimoto's thyroiditis (hypothyroidism) and Grave's disease (hyperthyroidism).</li></ul><div class="akh-series"><div class="row"><div class="col-md-12"> <figure><span class="asset-image-title">Thyroid gland</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_thyroid_gland_EN.jpg" alt="Thyroid gland located in the front of the throat shown with surrounding structures labelled" /> </figure> <p>Like the <a href="/Article?contentid=1468&language=English">pancreas</a> in diabetes, the thyroid can be attacked by the immune system. The immune system makes proteins called antibodies that attack the thyroid. This attack can cause the thyroid to either slow down (<a href="/Article?contentid=2309&language=English">hypothyroidism</a>) or in rare cases, to become overactive (hyperthyroidism). About 20 to 25% of people with <a href="/Article?contentid=1719&language=English">type 1 diabetes</a> will develop thyroid problems, regardless of how well they control their diabetes or for how long they have had diabetes. </p></div></div></div> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Thyroid function</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Thyroid_function_MED_ILL_EN.jpg" alt="Location of the pituitary gland in the brain and the thyroid gland in the throat both labelled" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">The pituitary gland releases hormones, including thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), that control the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland releases hormones that control many body functions.</figcaption> </figure> <h2>Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hypothyroidism)</h2><p>In Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the immune system damages the thyroid gland, leading it to become underactive. Underactive thyroid is called hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:</p><ul><li>slower growth</li><li>weight gain</li><li>tiredness or sluggishness</li><li>dry skin and hair</li><li>problems concentrating</li><li>constipation</li><li>irregular menstrual periods</li><li>weakness.</li></ul><p>Under activity of the thyroid is detected by regular checks of thyroid function. The check involves measuring levels of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and measuring antibodies against the thyroid. TSH is a hormone (chemical messenger) made by a gland in the brain called the <a href="https://pie.med.utoronto.ca/htbw/module.html?module=brain-child">pituitary gland</a>. </p><h2>Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism)</h2><p>Grave’s disease happens rarely in people with diabetes. It is an immune system disorder that makes the thyroid overactive, meaning the thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone. Overactive thyroid is called hyperthyroidism. Symptoms include:</p><ul><li>weight loss</li><li>increased appetite</li><li>mood swings</li><li>shakiness and sweating</li><li>diarrhea</li><li>bulging eyes.</li></ul><p>Over active thyroid is often treated with​ a medication called methimazole that decreases the thyroid hormone levels.</p> ​​ About 20 to 25% of people with type 1 diabetes will develop thyroid problems. Learn about the causes and symptoms of thyroid disease. Main
VitiligoVitiligoVitiligoVEnglishDermatologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)SkinSkinConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NAhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_vitiligo_darker_skin_EN.jpg2016-06-24T04:00:00Z9.4000000000000054.8000000000000850.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Vitiligo is a condition that causes skin and sometimes hair to turn white. Learn about its causes and how it is diagnosed and treated.</p><h2>What is vitiligo?</h2><p>Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of skin, and sometimes hair, to turn white. This skin condition occurs in roughly one person in a hundred and affects girls and boys equally.</p><div class="asset-2-up"> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_vitiligo_darker_skin_EN.jpg" alt="Vitiligo darker-skinned knee" /> </figure> <figure> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_vitiligo_lighter_skin_EN.jpg" alt="Viligo on lighter-skinned knee" /> </figure><br></div><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Vitiligo is a skin condition that makes parts of the skin or hair turn white. It is thought to be an autoimmune reaction but can also sometimes occur after a cut or other injury to the skin.</li><li>Treatments include creams and lotions, medications and light therapy. These may not always completely remove vitiligo and cannot prevent new patches from forming.</li><li>See a doctor if your child’s vitiligo does not improve or looks different than before or if you have concerns about changes in their health.</li></ul><h2>How does vitiligo affect the body?</h2> <p>Vitiligo is a condition that affects skin or hair colour only. It is usually more obvious in those with darker skin. It can occur anywhere on the body, causing skin colour differences of various shapes and sizes. However, some areas of the body are more commonly affected than others.</p> <p>In rare cases, patients with vitiligo may have other autoimmune diseases. For example, their immune system may also attack their thyroid gland. If your child is diagnosed with vitiligo, their doctor should order blood tests to check for any other autoimmune disease.</p><h2>What causes vitiligo?</h2> <p>The exact cause of vitiligo is not known, but it is thought to be an autoimmune reaction. This means that it occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body. In vitiligo, the cells that are attacked are called melanocytes. These are special cells that give skin and hair its pigment (colour).</p> <p>Vitiligo may affect more than one person in a family, suggesting that genetics may be a factor. Patients sometimes also notice that their vitiligo starts after a cut or other injury to their skin. You may hear your doctor call this a Koebner phenomenon.</p><h2>How is vitiligo diagnosed?</h2> <p>Your child’s doctor will often diagnose vitiligo simply by looking at your child’s skin. Because vitiligo is less obvious in paler skin, the doctor might sometimes use a special light called a Wood’s Lamp to help them detect changes more easily. If your child needs to be examined with the aid of a Wood’s Lamp, they may be asked to go into a dark room so that the light can be shone on their skin.</p><h2>How is vitiligo treated?</h2> <p>Different treatments are possible depending on how much vitiligo is present and where it appears on the body.</p> <h3>Topical treatments</h3> <p>Topical treatments are ointments, creams, gels or lotions that are applied directly to the skin. They include topical steroid medications.</p> <p>Calcineurin inhibitors are topical medications that help regulate the immune system in the skin. They are especially useful when applied to the face, skin folds and flexural areas such as inside the elbow or the back of the knee.</p> <p>Topical treatments are recommended for small areas of vitiligo, but they may be more challenging to use, and carry side effects, if vitiligo is more widespread. Depending on the part of their body that is affected, your child might receive different mixes and strengths of a topical steroid.</p> <h3>Light therapy</h3> <p>Light therapy involves focusing a special ultraviolet light on the affected areas of skin. The treatment usually requires several sessions and is reserved for patients with very widespread vitiligo, for whom applying a topical medication is challenging.</p> <p>This treatment requires a person to stand still in a small space with lamps around them, as they may be burned if they move. For this reason, light therapy may not be suitable for young children. Some concerns have also been raised about light therapy and the long-term increased risk for skin cancer, especially in those with paler skin.</p> <p>Other treatments such as laser therapy and skin grafting are also possible, but there is limited information about their use in children.</p> <h3>How effective are treatments for vitiligo?<br></h3> <p>Unfortunately vitiligo is a very unpredictable disease. Even with all the available treatments, some areas may not return to their usual colour. In addition, there is no way for doctors to prevent new areas of vitiligo from developing.<br></p> <p>Because treatment is not always successful, some patients may choose not to do anything or will instead use special make-up on the affected skin to make it blend in with the rest of the body.</p><h2>When to see a doctor for vitiligo</h2> <p>After initial diagnosis and treatment, see your child’s doctor if:</p> <ul> <li>your child’s vitiligo is getting larger, not improving or looks different than before</li> <li>you suspect your child has been experiencing symptoms such as gaining or losing weight easily or feeling tired easily. Their doctor can order blood tests to rule out related systemic conditions such as <a href="https://akhpub.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=841&language=English">anemia</a> or <a href="https://akhpub.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=2309&language=English">hypothyroidism</a>.<br></li> </ul><h2>Does my child’s vitiligo need any special long-term care?</h2> <p>Yes, the areas affected by vitiligo will need good <a href="https://akhpub.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=308&language=English">sun protection</a> to avoid <a href="https://akhpub.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=768&language=English">sunburn</a> and minimize the risks of skin cancer.</p>Main