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New Resource--Are We Doing Enough? A Status Report on Canadian Public Policy and Child and Youth Health

Are governments doing enough to protect kids? No. Canada can do better, say paediatricans

Canada's provincial and territorial governments could be doing more to protect and promote the health and well-being of Canada's children and youth, according to a report released today by the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS).

The fourth edition of Are We Doing Enough? A status report on Canadian public policy and child and youth health examines how effectively governments use legislation and programming in areas such as injury prevention, disease prevention and health promotion. It also assesses the federal government in key areas.

As government attention turns to the economy, there is mounting evidence to show that investing early in child health and development is a strong driver of economic growth and helps to ensure a fiscally healthy nation.

The interval between reports allows time for policy changes to take place, and in some areas improvements have been made. Provinces and territories continue to strengthen anti-smoking laws, and many have introduced policies to improve the mental health of children and youth and to pull them out of poverty. But there is still much more to be done.

Among the new key issues evaluated in this year's report are newborn hearing screening and an enhanced 18-month well-baby visit.

The Canadian Paediatric Society is a national advocacy association that promotes the health needs of children and youth. A full copy Are We Doing Enough?, along with ideas on how to use it to advocate in your community, can be accessed online by visiting http://www.cps.ca.