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News Release

Parents encouraged to monitor and support their child's development

WHITBY, ON November 13, 2014

Durham Region Health Department encourages parents to take an active role in monitoring and supporting their child’s development. How a child plays, speaks and acts can offer important clues about how they are growing. Eighteen-months is an important time to check a child’s progress. One way parents can do this is by scheduling and attending their child’s Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit through their healthcare provider.

The Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit marks the last scheduled visit to a primary healthcare provider before a child starts school. “This visit is longer and more in-depth, allowing extra time for parents to ask questions about their child’s growth and development,” explained Cathie Logan, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “This important visit is designed to build strong partnerships among primary healthcare providers, parents or caregivers, and community services.”

During the visit the primary healthcare provider uses standardized tools to assess the child’s progress towards meeting key developmental milestones. The results are discussed and, when needed, a referral is made to specialized services. Parents are also given information about local community programs that promote healthy child development and early learning.

“It’s important that parents do not accept a “wait and see” approach with their child’s development,” added Ms. Logan. “The Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit provides an opportunity for parents to learn more about common developmental milestones and also supports parents to be active participates in their child’s development.”

Parents can also track their child’s developmental milestones from one-month to six years of age using the Nipissing District Developmental Screen (NDDS), a free online checklist at endds.ca. Parents who register their child will receive age specific checklists and suggested activities as their child grows. The NDDS is available in five languages and is suggested as a starting point for discussion between parents and primary healthcare providers during the Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit.

To learn more about the Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit, call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

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For more information, please contact Health Department.