Children's Healthcare Canada launches 2019 Federal Election toolkit

Source: Children’s Healthcare Canada

The federal government has an important role to play establishing and advancing public policy solutions that advance child & youth healthcare and health systems.

In Canada today, there are nearly 7.9 million children between the ages of 0-19, representing 22.4% of the total population. Comparatively, over 40% of Canada's Indigenous population are between 0 and 25 years of age. The number of children in Canada continues to grow.

Children's Healthcare Canada has prepared resources to enable your active engagement in this fall's Federal Election. From policy primers and interactive tools, to social media stickers and platform analyses, Children’s Healthcare Canada has you covered!

Child Advocates Urge Government Leaders to Ensure the Health and Safety of Canada’s Children

Children First Canada reveals top 10 threats facing kids across the country 

Source: Children First Canada

A national call to action released today asks federal political leaders to address the top 10 issues threatening Canada’s children including poverty, abuse, obesity, suicide, bullying, and preventable injuries. According to the research, of the 8 million children in Canada, at least one third do not enjoy a safe and healthy childhood. 

“Raising Canada: Election 2019,” was released by the national non-profit Children First Canada with research from the O’Brien Institute for Public Health and endorsed by the Council of Champions – Canada’s leading children’s charities, kids’ hospitals, research institutes and major corporations that invest in children’s issues. It pinpoints the top 10 threats to children’s health and safety and calls on the leaders of federal political parties and all candidates seeking office to take urgent action. The paper also calls on Canadians to use their vote to urge federal leaders to take action to improve the lives of children and invest today for the sake of all Canadians. 

“The majority of Canadians rank this as a top 5 or top 10 country to raise a child, but the reality is that Canada ranks 25th out of 41 OECD countries for children’s wellbeing,” says Sara Austin, founder and Lead Director of Children First Canada. “As a society, we have largely ignored the harsh realities that affect our most vulnerable, and that needs to change. As Canadians prepare to head to the polls, now is the time to demand that these challenges can be tackled.” 


Top 10 threats to childhood, according to Raising Canada: Election 2019:

  1. ACCIDENTS AND PREVENTABLE INJURIES are the leading cause of death for children 

  2. SUICIDE is the second leading cause of death for Canadian children. Canada was one of the five countries with the highest teenage suicide rates, at a rate of over 10 per 100,000 teens. 

  3. CHILD ABUSE: One third of Canadians experience some form of child abuse before the age of 16. Child abuse costs Canadians an estimated $23 billion annually 

  4. POVERTY: Nearly 10% of Canadian children grow up in poverty, and nearly 50% of Indigenous children. 

  5. INFANT MORTALITY: Canada ranks 30th amongst 44 OECD countries for infant mortality. All European OECD countries have a lower infant mortality rate than Canada’s. 

  6. OBESITY: A quarter of children are obese and only one third get enough daily physical activity 

  7. FOOD INSECURITY: More 10% of families with children under 6 years saying experience food insecurity 

  8. IMMUNIZATION: A quarter of children are not fully immunized by age two. 

  9. DISCRIMINATION profoundly impacts the health of Indigenous and racialized children. 

  10. BULLYING: More than 10 percent of 15-17 year-olds experienced bullying online, and one in five children and youth (age 15-20) experienced cyberstalking, cyberbullying, or both. 

Raising Canada: Election 2019 echoes the priorities set out in the Canadian Children’s Charter developed by Children First Canada with input from thousands of children and youth across the country. The document lays a roadmap for urgent action to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of every child in Canada. 

Other calls to action in the report released today include: 

  • The appointment of an independent federal Commission for Children and Youth to raise the profile of children in Canada

  • A pan-Canadian strategy for children led by the federal government in consultation with the provinces and territories that would tackle the top 10 threats to children’s health and wellbeing and ensure the full implementation of the Canadian Children’s Charter and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  • A Children’s Budget to ensure adequate resources are directed toward addressing the top 10 threats to childhood

UNICEF Canada releases the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being 2019 Baseline Report

Source: UNICEF Canada

125 Indicators for one Childhood

Many Canadians believe that Canada is the best place in the world to grow up. Is it?

Canada’s wealth has been steadily rising, but our overall level of child and youth well-being hasn’t budged in more than a decade. Why?

The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being measures levels, inequalities and trends in the state of children and youth. It’s a big ‘selfie’ of Canada, a snapshot that looks at many aspects of childhood to help Canadians understand what growing up is like for kids, focus efforts and accelerate progress where it is most needed.

The Index brings together a wide range of data into one framework to encourage a comprehensive and balanced view of how kids in Canada are faring. UNICEF Canada is tracking 125 indicators across nine dimensions of the lives of children and youth, from birth to age 18, using the most recent, population-level, statistical data.

Visit UNICEF Canada’s One Youth for more information, and to access the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being 2019 Baseline Report.

FREE from Asthma Canada: September Asthma Peak Resources

Source: Asthma Canada

September is the month when children across Canada return to school.

Unfortunately, the September back-to-school period brings a dramatic increase in hospitalizations for children with asthma. The third week of September, in particular, is known as the September Asthma Peak.

In Canada, approximately 20% to 25% of children’s hospital admissions for asthma occur in September.

There are numerous causes for the spike in asthma exacerbation in school-aged children around the third week of September. Kids returning to school face increased exposure to viral infections and rhinovirus (the common cold), both of which are common asthma triggers.

The good news is, with proper management, most asthma-related hospital admissions can be avoided. Asthma Canada offers a number of resources to help you prepare your children for a safe and healthy return to school.

Visit Asthma Canada to download the new September Asthma Peak resources.


Recruiting for MHCC’s Youth Council

Source: The Mental Health Commission of Canada

The Mental Health Commission of Canada's Youth Council is a safe space allowing individuals with lived experience between the ages of 18-30 to provide a youth perspective on mental health and recovery. They are seeking four new members to join the diverse council.

The deadline to apply is on Friday, September 13.

1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness, less than 20 per cent will receive appropriate treatment. By age 25, one in five Canadians will have developed a mental illness. It is essential to understand their needs and experiences to improve our mental health system.

Located across Canada, Youth Council members represent themselves and their communities, bringing their own experiences to the table. They advocate on behalf of young people with mental health problems or illnesses, represent the voice of young people at MHCC as well as participate in events to promote recovery and inspire other youth.

This year, to retain geographical balance, MHCC is seeking new members from four regions: 

  • British Columbia

  • Saskatchewan

  • New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

  • Yukon and the Northwest Territories

They are looking for individuals from diverse backgrounds: 

  • Young adults (age 18 to 25) who have personal lived experience of a mental health problem or illness or you are a caregiver

  • Individuals with diverse ethnic backgrounds

  • Individuals with physical disabilities

  • Youth with diverse educational and linguistic backgrounds

  • LGBTQ individuals

* MHCC welcomes applications by candidates from all parts of Canada and various backgrounds

Click here to learn more about the MHCC Youth Council and our current members.

To apply, please visit the MHCC website to complete the application form.