CPHO Sunday Edition – June 20, 2021
A shout-out to kids and teens across Canada!
I would like to dedicate today’s Sunday Edition to a special group who have shown great strength and courage during a very challenging period - the kids and teens across Canada, and to the adults who support them.
I know that things have not been easy for kids and teens during the pandemic. Limited ‘in real-life’ visits with friends and family members outside of the home, and adjusting to virtual school or to very different classroom settings altogether are challenging things to deal with, even more so when it is over a long period of time. Life during the pandemic has been tough for many families as a whole, as well. Parents, caregivers, and other family members are experiencing their own challenges, too, and kids can often sense this.
But throughout it all, I have been amazed by the resilience that kids and teens have shown and their willingness to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. They are finding new ways to connect with friends, and I see a lot of cool masks being worn and kids and teens safely keeping their distance when outside.I have also been impressed by how interested kids and teens have been to learn and understand more about COVID-19. There have been some very innovative science projects and models of coronaviruses this year! Scientific curiosity is a wonderful thing and helps kids to learn more about the world around them. So today, I am asking adults to help me relay my appreciation to the kids and teens in your life. I also encourage you to continue to foster their curiosity about COVID-19 and how it impacts them, the people in their lives, and our broader community as a whole.
Helping Kids and Teens Understand the State of the Pandemic
Canada’s immunization campaign is going strong, and we are on track to offer all eligible Canadians vaccines this this summer. If you need help answering the questions the kids and teens in your life may have, speaking to your doctor, another trusted health professional, your local public health unit or looking up on-line sources like Canada.ca/Vaccines and KidsHealthFirst.ca are good ways to seek credible, trustworthy information. This is a great way for parents and kids to learn more together. If your kids or teens are eligible to be vaccinated but nervous about the getting their shot, the CARD (Comfort, Ask, Relax, Distract) system provides strategies you can use that will help them to cope during vaccination.
I also imagine that many kids and teens are very curious about what this summer will be like. The good news is that no matter where you live across Canada, kids and teens can still get outside this summer. Biking, picnics, cooling off in a pool, lake, or under a sprinkler - or even getting creative and moving some indoor games outside – are all fun things that kids, teens, and adults can enjoy and reduce COVID-19 risks.
Depending on where you live, if case numbers are down and more people are vaccinated in your area, public health measures may be adjusted locally. This means that it may be possible for kids and teens to meet up with a few more friends and to enjoy activities like playing basketball or soccer. In some regions, this may also allow for summer camps to be held. Many provinces have provided guidance on opening and running these activities safely. The Public Health Agency of Canada also recently released federal guidance for those organizing summer activities for children and youth.
We are all eager to get out and enjoy the summer – kids, teens, and adults alike. We’ve made incredible progress in lowering COVID-19 infection rates. But the next steps are up to each one of us. If everyone continues to do their part and keeps up with the public health measures while vaccination coverage expands, we can keep the spread of COVID-19 down. The more careful we are now, the greater the chance that we will be able to do more later in the summer.So happy summer everyone! Be safe and have fun outdoors! And finally, I would like to extend a big congratulations to all the graduating classes of 2021! I realize that it is different this year but I hope that graduating students can still find a special way to mark this important milestone.
Public Health Agency of Canada
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