Health Facts: Children's Health

The Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Program

How the program works:

  • A baby may be born with Down's Syndrome, or have a congenital heart defect.
  • A six week old may not be turning its head toward noises.
  • A toddler may be a late talker.
  • A new mom may be depressed.
  • There may be domestic violence.

Under the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program, any one of these problems would set in motion a network of community resources to help.

The first step -- early identification of the problem -- can happen during pregnancy, at birth, or afterwards.

Once identified, children and families are referred to appropriate support services in the community through the local public health unit.

Highlights of the program:

  • Screening and assessment during pregnancy ensure help is provided early.
  • Newborns are screened in hospitals.
  • New mothers are called after hospital discharge and offered a home visit.
  • The program includes children up to the age of six.
  • It acknowledges that children can become "at risk" at any time because of changes in family circumstances, or problems at new stages of development.
  • Coordinated, efficient, family-focused services link health, social services and education systems under the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program.

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at:
1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation: 8:30am - 5:00pm

If you are a member of the media, call Communications and Marketing Branch at 416-314-6197 or visit our News Room section.

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