April 2016  

Welcome to the April edition of CanChild Today! We are excited to announce that we hosted a successful CanChild Family Engagement Day on April 2nd. Many parents, youth, families, clinicians and researchers attended and helped to plant seeds for future family-research partnerships! Additional details about this day are provided below. 
In this edition, we are also pleased to share featured products from our CanChild Shop, funding updates from some of our CanChild scientists, as well as recent publications from CanChild community members around the world.
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Featured Products of the Month: CanChild Shop
The YC-PEM is a parent-completed measure that looks at the different activities of children aged 0-5 years. The YC-PEM asks parents to rate the child's level of participation and the qualities of the environment in which these activities take place.  Click here to view the YC-PEM. 
The TRANSITION-Q is a new psychometrically sound and clinically meaningful scale that can be used in transition programs with adolescents starting at 12 years of age. The TRANSITION-Q measures and tracks the development of skills that youth need to manage their health and healthcare.  Click here to view the Transition-Q. 
"Opening doors to family-research partnerships today for a brighter tomorrow"
Over 75 families, children, youth, students, service providers and researchers from across Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area attended CanChild's 2016 Family Engagement Day: Opening doors to family-research partnerships today for a brighter tomorrow!  The event included keynote presentations by parent advocate Connie Putterman and researcher Sacha Bailey, as well as a panel presentation on the challenges and opportunities in family-research partnerships. In the afternoon attendees had the opportunity to attend Research Roundtables on topics such as physical activity for children with disabilities, preparing high schoolers with autism spectrum disorders for the workforce and facilitating inclusive classrooms. Overall, the event was deemed by many to be successful at connecting families with researchers and healthcare providers, as well as providing hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Video and additional content from the Family Engagement Day to be available shortly. 

In the News & Around the Web... 
Following a competitive review of eleven invited proposals, the  Ontario Child Health Support Unit (OCHSU) granted five IMPACT-Child Health Awards this year. We are proud to say that two of the five projects involve CanChild Members. Congratulations to our researchers on their successes. Nora Fayed's project (with co-principal investigator Eyal Cohen and co-investigator Anne Klassen) looks to create a province wide intervention for children who have complex medical conditions. Carol DeMatteo is working with Roger Zemek at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario to study rest and exertion following concussions. Congratulations to all OCSHU IMPACT-Child Health Award winners! 
As part of its SPOR Networks in Chronic Disease Program, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has announced $25 million in funding over the next five years for CHILD-BRIGHT, a Canadian research network (led by McGill University) that aims to improve the lives of children with brain-based developmental disabilities. Jan Willem Gorter is a named co-investigator on this award, and will receive $2 million in funding to lead a 5-year randomized controlled trial on transition to adulthood. Other co-investigators include CanChild members Eyal Cohen, Darcy Fehlings, Lucy Lach, and Keiko Shikako-Thomas. Congratulations to all!

Following positive response to a knowledge synthesis on developmental trajectories of youth with disabilities submitted in 2011 to the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS), a team of CanChild researchers was recently commissioned by MCYS to update and expand the literature in this area. The updated knowledge synthesis, to be completed in spring 2016, will help to inform the Middle Years Strategy to support the success, and positive, asset-based development of children ages 6-12.
Recent Publications by CanChild Members
Improvements in technology and medical care allow more children to survive serious illnesses. Unfortunately, we do not understand how these illnesses affect children and their families in the long term. The study team wanted to see if it was possible to conduct a long-term study looking at whether children who survived serious illnesses were able to recover and return to their usual activities (school, sports, chores etc.). To do this, the study team looked at patients who had stayed in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). The PICU is the part of the hospital that helps children with serious illnesses get better. They were able to get a large number of PICU patients to be in the study and keep in contact with most of them long after leaving the hospital. This study shows that recovery after serious illness depends on a number of factors. Two of these factors are the child's health before the illness and the severity of the illness. This study showed that a longer, larger study would be possible. 
Authors: Karen Choong, MB BCh, Samah Al-Harbi, MD, Katie Siu, MD, Katie Wong, BSc, Ji Cheng, MSc, Burke Baird, MD, David Pogorzelski, BSc, Brian Timmons, PhD, Jan-Willem Gorter, MD PhD, Lehana Thabane, PhD, and Mary Khetani, ScD OTR, Conducted on behalf of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group ; DOI: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000362. PubMed PMCID: PMC4499478. 

Children grow and develop quickly in their first few years of life. Much of this growth occurs during the "early years". The early years are between 3 and 5 years old. Early signs of heart health, obesity, and diabetes are beginning to show up in younger children. Because of this, the early years are a very important time to influence long-term health and fitness. This study looked at the physical activity and fitness of 400 preschoolers to see the changes in physical activity and fitness during the early years. After one year, the preschoolers increased their vigorous physical activity and decreased their light physical activity. They did better on fitness tests, participated more in physical activities and decreased their sedentary time throughout the early years. This study provides new information about preschoolers' fitness and physical activity.
Authors: Hilary A.T. Caldwell,ab Nicole A. Proudfoot,ab Sara King-Dowling,ab Natascja A. Di Cristofaro,a John Cairney,bc Brian W. Timmonsab; DOI: 10.1139/apnm-2015-0338. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27045869
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common childhood disability. People with CP see doctors, nurses and therapists throughout their lives. New research about CP becomes available all the time. Sometimes doctors, nurses and therapists do not know about the new research. To help them stay updated, the study team created a new system of providing research findings. This new system consists of; (a) identifying experts at explaining research, (b) providing and online "hub" for new CP research, (c) having educational and professional development days and (d) providing an electronic CP outcomes database using validated tools that could facilitate a faster implementation of new research. This study will evaluate whether the above system can improve research use by service providers and in turn, have an impact on child health outcomes. This article can be downloaded free of charge. 
Authors: Christine Imms, Iona Novak, Claire Kerr, Nora Shields, Melinda Randall, Adrienne Harvey, H Kerr Graham, and Dinah Reddihough;  DOI 10.1186/s13012-014-0202-0. PubMed PMCID: PMC4328993.
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