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Children and Youth in Canada - The Context of their Lives

Children and youth make up a substantial portion of the Canadian population. They are a very diverse group – not only with regards to their culture, ethnicity, family structure, experiences – but also with regards to their living conditions and opportunities. There are numerous factors shaping the experiences of children and youth in Canada. In this module you will find population and demographic data describing who the children and youth are and where they live. As well, this module contains facts and figures presenting the diverse backgrounds of children and youth in Canada, their family life, economic security, education and health outcomes.

Genetics and Paediatric Health

This module begins with a Genetics Primer that explains genetic concepts such as the genome, inheritance, genes, and DNA. The module goes on to provide a brief examination of the incidence and prevalence of gene-related conditions in Canada. It then describes how genetic services are organized in Canada and the resulting implications for children and families.

Genetic testing and screening are considered in detail to provide the reader with both an understanding of these concepts and an appreciation of the genetic testing and screening programs and technology that are available in Canada.

The module continues with a description of prevalence and trends of congenital anomalies and an investigation of some of the congenital anomalies that are most common among children.

Genetics is a burgeoning field, so the module concludes with a discussion of some of the emerging issues in genetics that are influencing genetics and children’s health and wellbeing.

Primary Health Care Services for Children and Youth in Canada: Access, Quality and Structure

This Module describes the state of primary care among children and youth in Canada, including the structure of primary care delivery, changes under reform, and funding for other primary health care services such as eye and dental care across provinces and territories. It capitalizes on existing data and measures to report on the quality of primary care for children in Canada.

Health Profile on Immigrant and Refugee Children and Youth in Canada

Canadian children and youth are culturally and linguistically diverse, bringing many different strengths, attributes and needs to their communities. Overall, children and youth who are recent immigrants fare well in Canada in terms of health status. However, the overall population of immigrant and refugee children and youth is not homogeneous - and certain groups of immigrant children and youth fare better than others. Immigrant and refugee children and youth also have unique attributes and needs that our systems should recognize and address. These needs may require specific interventions such as vaccinations or screening tests to prevent diseases. They may require increased community, professional and public awareness regarding issues that may arise due to cultural or medical ‘discordance’. Discordance can include differences in values, culture, parental expectations, preventative health care, lifestyle or other factors.

This module describes immigrant and refugee children and youth up to 24 years of age in Canada and their overall health status. It specifically identifies priority preventable conditions and diseases among immigrant and refugee children and youth and explores the question of cultural discordance and how this might influence their health and well-being.

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