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News Release

Health unit launches new Facebook page for parents

Dec 07, 2012
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is taking advantage of social media to reach parents of infants and toddlers.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is taking advantage of social media to reach parents of infants and toddlers.

Play togetherGrow together is a Facebook page offering information about childhood growth and development, screening, parenting challenges and nutrition. The choice of Facebook was made so parents and caregivers would be able to interact and share their own experiences.

“We did a fair bit of research into the best tools to reach parents,” said public health nurse Susan McLeod, who led the team in the project. “And we learned that young moms are among the more frequent users of Facebook. It seemed a perfect fit with what we wanted to achieve with the program.”

Facebook is just one element of a broader initiative dealing with early childhood development. Knowing how best to shape a child’s growth, how to identify problems early and how to respond to those problems could make a lifelong difference in health outcomes, McLeod said.

“For a number of months we have been promoting the 18-month well-baby screening visit,” she said. “It’s a new way for parents and caregivers to discuss their little one’s progress with their doctor, at a significant point in time in the baby’s development. We have had wonderful participation from the local medical community so this is becoming a tool that will be valuable for families in Simcoe and Muskoka.”

The page should also become a handy guide to the many local services that exist locally to support parents of young children.

“We know new parents can feel all alone in the world and not know where to turn when they’re seeking advice,” McLeod said. “We will regularly be posting links to supports like the Ontario Early Years Centres or Muskoka Family Focus.”

Those who have signed in to Facebook can find the page by searching for Play together-Grow together.

More information on the program can be found at the health unit’s website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org, or by calling Your Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 


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