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COALITION FOR KIDS 2021

Advocating for a regional approach

 
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ABOUT US

We are parents, grandparents, caregivers, education workers, healthcare workers, people who work with children, and people who care about children. We are deeply concerned about the impact that measures to control COVID-19 are having on Ontario’s children and youth.


We believe that evidence-based and data-driven solutions are critical to control COVID-19 while limiting harm to society. Data show that communities across Ontario are experiencing COVID-19 differently, as is the capacity to test, trace and isolate. For this reason, we believe that a regionalized approach to COVID-19 control measures is the best way to ensure that the health, well-being, and development of children and youth is at the centre of decisions that substantially impact their daily lives and futures. 


We are not an anti-lockdown movement, nor are we anti-mask or anti-vaccine. 


Our goal is to see local Medical Officers of Health empowered to make tailored and responsive decisions about COVID-19 control and recovery that affect children, youth, and their families. This includes decisions over restrictions to curb transmission and planning with local partners for the 2021/22 school year and for the supports children and youth will need to recover academically, emotionally, and socially following the pandemic.

How you can help - please sign our open letter and share with others to do the same.


Contact us: coalition4kids2021@gmail.com

Twitter @CoalitionKids

Facebook /Coalition4Kids2021

 

VOICES OF LIVED EXPERIENCE

STUDENT, AGED 14 YEARS

The lockdown has definitely taken a toll on everyone's mental health, at all ages, but I think it affects my age group the most. We are at the age where you wanna get away from your parents and spend all day with your friends. I know that I, and others, need to see other people to stay in better mental shape. School is one of the places we can see each other, especially as some parents won't let people hang out, outside of school, even when we aren't in lockdown. We need to be able to see each other in person. Yes, there are ways of socialising online, but there's only so many, and almost all of them require a subscription to one thing or another. Another issue with the complete lockdowns, is it encourages young persons to start using substances. I know that I, and some of my friends, have either tried, or planned on trying THC products, be that edibles, flower, whatever, during lockdowns. This most recent lockdown has pushed me to start using more regularly, and I know of others that are in the same boat. The worse our mental health gets, the more and more substances we shove in our bodies to try and make things feel better, even if it's temporary. We NEED to be able to see friends, to keep our mentality in check. It doesn't matter if that means reopening schools, or even just allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 5 people, we just need to be able to see each other.

STUDENT, AGED 7 YEARS

“School gives you more happy feelings. Online you can’t have fun recesses, you can’t do fun stuff. It’s stressful because you just have to sit and you’re just in your own house. It’s pretty boring. I really miss the Boys and Girls Club – I miss my leader, games and crafts.”

FAMILY DOCTOR

"Families are under a huge amount of strain right now- especially with another provincewide school shutdown. There are many essential service workers who do not qualify or couldn't secure an emergency childcare spot. This means parents are left arranging piecemeal child-minding with different providers; many of whom don't have the capacity to supervise on-line learning. So, for many parents, keeping working means having to abandon a school connection for their children, even though their kids may have previously identified learning gaps. For many patients living rurally, poor wifi is also making it impossible for their kids to participate in school communities isolating families even more. Even for the parents who can be home with their children, many are concerned about problematic internet/ digital media use as it is hard to monitor online activities 100% of the time and many report struggles with mental health for themselves and their children."

 
 

DATA AND EVIDENCE

Data: Ontario’s children and COVID

  • Case counts by age group by PHU

  • Case counts among children when schools have been closed vs. opened

  • School cases by PHU (disaggregate: staff and student, and elementary and secondary)

  • School outbreaks by PHU

  • Severe outcomes among students and teachers

  • Etches (OPH): 85% of school cases caught in the community


Evidence: Impact of COVID control measures on the health of school aged children and youth


Children and Cornavirus, UK Children’s Parliament. https://www.childrensparliament.org.uk/our-work/children-and-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR1SbPomw22VTI2BlMc0aZ8zOaM2xKJTv1rPUgeS4jVr2hiVWBamaN7ui5k


15 Stories - Engaging with the views and experiences of families with younger children during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://15stories.scot/?fbclid=IwAR2EueqeObGR8U0FqjU75-zF-w6SaXg6XYtnBFh6lQN7yzKUtVPdKoBMTLY 



Evidence: Impact of COVID control measures on health in the early years

  • https://www.cheo.on.ca/en/news/disturbing-trend-of-infants-coming-to-cheo-with-head-trauma.aspx

  • https://www.thewhig.com/news/local-news/online-group-brings-together-parents-of-pandemic-era-newborns

  • https://www.thewhig.com/news/local-news/they-wont-remember-covid-19-like-we-will-remember-covid-19


Position statements from experts in children’s health



Evidence on COVID and Children/Schools


Evidence on childhood experiences on health, well-being, and development

 

CONTACT COALITION FOR KIDS 2021