A Vote for Every Child

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Source: UNICEF Canada

We are the True North, strong and free. Part of that freedom is the democratic right to vote - and our next federal election is right around the corner.

In fact, our federal parties are determining their key priorities for the future of Canada and Canada’s role in the world as we speak.

Soon, your local candidates will hit the pavement, knocking on doors, and hosting BBQs looking for your vote this October.

But there are 8 million Canadians who do not get to vote in this election.

Children and youth under 18.

We must ensure young people are THE priority in this election and we can do that by building a movement of engaged Canadians like you who commit to #VoteforEveryChild! 

Will you join UNICEF Canada and make your vote in this election, a #VoteforEveryChild?

Too many children and youth in Canada live in poverty, without access to enough nutritious food or protection from violence. Many young people struggle with mental health challenges and difficult lives – and yet, politicians are not accountable to our most vulnerable citizens.  

Too many children around the world are increasingly in harm’s way, being left behind, and losing out on a childhood.

We need to remind the candidates that:

  • Canada ranks 25th out of 41 rich countries in child and youth well-being, a middle position we’ve held for over a decade.

  • 1 in 5 children in Canada lives in poverty, and all children suffer from the impacts of income inequality.

  • Indigenous children continue to suffer from funding shortfalls in public services like clean water, health care, education, and protection.

  • High quality early learning and childcare is not affordable for all families.

  • Canada must be a global leader to help eliminate all forms of violence against children in conflict.

  • We must continue to invest in global health by increasing support for affordable, comprehensive quality health care for women and children.

  • Canada must protect children in company supply chains by creating legislation that requires companies that do business in Canada to identify, prevent, respond to and report about their human rights impacts in Canada and around the world.

In just two quick steps, you can send a letter directly to Canada’s political leaders to tell them what is important to YOU this election. 

LGBTQ2+ Youth Priorities for Addressing Gender-Based Violence

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Over the past 6 months, Wisdom2Action has led consultations with LGBTQ2+ youth across Canada on Gender-Based Violence, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. This ground-breaking report highlights the experiences and perspectives of over 500 LGBTQ2+ youth across Canada and their recommendations on addressing Gender-Based Violence.

To check out the full report, visit Wisdom2Action.

Support National Injury Prevention Day July 5

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Please join Parachute on July 5 as they launch their third annual national injury prevention awareness campaign. Landmarks across the nation from Vancouver to Halifax are "lighting up green" to shine a light on this crucial health issue, the leading cause of death for Canadians age one to 44. Their date has been recognized by Health Canada and also proclaimed in 10 Canadian cities so far.

 What can you do?

Take a picture of the landmark(s) where you live and share it on social media, using the hashtag #ParachuteNIPD. Follow us @parachutecanada.org on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 Check out their NIPD social media guide for messages and materials you can share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Study: Guidelines for managing anaphylaxis in children need an update


A new study led by AllerGen researcher Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan suggests that treatment guidelines for managing anaphylaxis in children should be reassessed, and shows that pre-hospital treatment with epinephrine has the greatest protective effect against uncontrolled allergic reactions.

The research, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, involved nearly 3,500 patients, making it the largest study to assess the clinical outcomes of pre-hospital treatment of anaphylaxis. Of the patients examined, 80% were children aged one to 17 years. The patient data derived from AllerGen’s nationwide Cross-Canada Anaphylaxis REgistry (C-CARE) project, involving nine emergency departments in five provinces.

“We found that steroids, which are part of the treatment plan for managing anaphylaxis, can have a negative effect on patient outcomes,” says Dr. Ben-Shoshan.

“Our study also shows that the use of an epinephrine autoinjector in the pre-hospital setting has a significant positive impact on the clinical management of anaphylaxis—a much more significant protective effect than that achieved with antihistamines,” adds first author and AllerGen trainee Sofianne Gabrielli.

According to the researchers, these results suggest that current anaphylaxis management practices should be modified, at least as applies to the pre-hospital setting, to exclude steroids and to call for the administration of antihistamines only in conjunction with epinephrine in all cases of anaphylaxis.

“The findings from this study reinforce the need to equip individuals with the knowledge and confidence to assess the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, and to treat it swiftly with an epinephrine autoinjector when it occurs,” comments Jennifer Gerdts, a study co-author and Executive Director of Food Allergy Canada.

AllerGen Press Release

Bill C-451 a welcome step forward for child health in Canada

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Children’s Healthcare Canada, the Paediatric Chairs of Canada and The Sandbox Project welcome the introduction of Bill C-451, An Act to Create a Children's Health Commissioner of Canada.

On May 16th, Dr. Kellie Leitch, Member of Parliament for Simcoe—Grey introduced Bill C-451 in an important step toward ensuring that child health is prioritized across government. Duties of the Commissioner will include raising public awareness of child and youth health issues; advising the Minister of Health on how proposed policy and legislation will affect child and youth health; and commissioning independent or joint research initiatives. This Private Member’s Bill is the long culmination of Dr. Leitch’s 2008 report entitled Reaching for the Top: A Report by the Advisor on Healthy Children and Youth, in which a key recommendation is the creation of a national office of child and youth health. The report also led to the founding by Dr. Leitch of The Sandbox Project, a national charity dedicated to improving child and youth health outcomes through cross-sector collaboration.

The time for a Children’s Health Commissioner is now. Many Canadians would be surprised to learn that Canada ranks near the bottom on several international health indicators, with Indigenous children and children with disabilities being the most impacted.

Canada faces increasingly complex challenges when it comes to child and youth health: The need for child and youth mental health services and supports is growing. Youth play a significant role in Canada’s opioid crisis, one of the gravest public health issues in Canada's recent history. Vaccine hesitancy has been identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top 10 global health threats in 2019, and 48 cases of measles have been reported already in Canada this year.

A Children’s Health Commissioner will increase coordination at the federal level and identify trends and promising practices across the provinces, territories and nations of Canada. By bringing best practices forward, they will add value to the investments already being made. Collaborating with policy makers, government agencies, parliamentary bodies and others, the Commissioner will amplify the voices of children and youth and be a champion for and with them.

Children’s Healthcare Canada, the Paediatric Chairs of Canada and The Sandbox Project are supportive of the recent discussions across Canada’s federal parties to establish a Commissioner to ensure the best interests of children and youth are taken into account. By investing now, Canada can provide children with the support and care they need to become healthy, active, well-adjusted and contributing adults in our society.

About Children’s Healthcare Canada

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

About the Paediatric Chairs of Canada

The Paediatric Chairs of Canada represents the 17 Canadian university affiliated teaching hospitals in Canada and is dedicated to providing national leadership in paediatric research and education to promote the health and health care of children and youth.

About The Sandbox Project

The Sandbox Project is about one thing: making Canada the healthiest place in the world for children to grow up by supporting their health, safety, and well-being. As an umbrella organization, Sandbox provides strategic leadership, facilitates collaboration and drives innovation among like-minded, child-focused organizations within Canada’s child and youth health arena. By providing a forum in which diverse stakeholders can work together, The Sandbox Project fosters cooperation, collaboration and the sharing of best practices – helping the entire sector make real, tangible progress towards delivering on the promise of healthier children and youth.

For more information

Marion Williams

Government Relations Specialist, Children’s Healthcare Canada

National Coordinator & Research Associate, Paediatric Chairs of Canada

(613) 253-2272



Mary-Ellen Rayner

Communications & Partnerships Lead, The Sandbox Project

(416) 554-2610