FREDERICTON, N.B. – The provincial government is introducing a Healthy Toddler Assessment around New Brunswick.
"The Healthy Toddler Assessment is an 18-month-old child assessment provided by public health nurses," said Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eilish Cleary. "This assessment will allow for earlier detection of health concerns and provide better sequencing with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development preschool assessments that are completed when the child is between four and five years of age and will eventually replace the 3.5-Year-Old Health Clinic."
The Healthy Toddler Assessment includes questionnaires related to children's teeth, vision, hearing and safety as well as questions related to child development, growth, nutrition and immunizations. Public health nurses will also address literacy and depression with parents.
The assessment will support the healthy growth and development of young children by:
● promoting healthy lifestyle practices and behaviours with parents;
● providing early screening and assessment;
● identifying appropriate services within the community for parents and children; and
● gathering health data about New Brunswick children.
As part of the assessment, parents will receive the fourth Loving Care book, entitled 1-3 years. The first three books are provided to parents in the hospital following the birth of their child. The Loving Care books capture infant developmental stages and provide parents with information to support them in their parenting.
"The Healthy Toddler Assessment will provide public health with the opportunity to see every family with 18-month-old children in New Brunswick," said Cleary. "This assessment will complement the important work that physicians and nurse practitioners do and will result in healthier children and healthier families. Public health is pleased to be able to support parents in the healthy development of their toddlers."
More information is on the Department of Health's website.