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THINK ABOUT IT

- Health Unit Organizing Events, Promoting Resources for Families to Encourage ‘Healthy Baby, Healthy Brain’ -

(HALIBURTON COUNTY) – Here’s something to think about: new research shows the first few years of life are critical for healthy brain development in babies and young children.

Parents and caregivers in Haliburton County are being asked to give the subject more thought, especially by realizing how their daily activities and interactions with babies and young children can stimulate learning and boost brain development.

“You do not need to be an Einstein to nurture and support healthy growth and development in babies and young children,” says Kelly Taylor, RN, a Family Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “However it can be difficult to know what to do to help a child’s development, especially in the critical early years. That is why we want to promote ways that local families can stimulate a young child’s brain activity, by what they do and say, and how they interact each day with a baby.”

This month, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is launching a Healthy Baby Healthy Brain campaign to help parents support their young child’s brain development. The local campaign is part of an Ontario-wide initiative of the same name. The main goal of the campaign is to promote a new website (www.HealthyBabyHealthyBrain.ca) that features videos and other resources for families. The online videos, which show real-life situations involving families across the province, provide tips on what parents and caregivers can do every day with their baby to promote positive brain development. Health Unit staff will be promoting the website through ‘Think About It’ community events, client visits, social media sites and Facebook advertising.

Two Think About It - Healthy Baby Healthy Brain events are being planned for families with young children in Haliburton County. These free events include snacks and prizes, and provide interactive activities for parents and children to reinforce healthy brain development. The events take place:

  • In Minden on Monday, June 10, from 10 am to noon at the Ontario Early Years Centre (144 Bobcaygeon Rd in Sears Building).
  • In Haliburton Village on Thursday, June 13, from 10 am to noon at the Ontario Early Years Centre (83 Maple Ave., Harco Plaza, lower level).

(NOTE TO MEDIA: Members of the media are invited to attend either event for interview and photo opportunities)

“Parents and caregivers can support a ‘healthy baby, healthy brain’ in many ways,” says Taylor. “There is everything from boosting a baby’s brain with everyday fun and games; promoting health through nutrition, physical activity, sleep and regular routines; and providing a nurturing environment that stimulates and supports a child’s well-being.”For more information about the Healthy Baby Healthy Brain campaign, call the Health Unit at (705) 457-1391 or visit its website (www.hkpr.on.ca).

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For media inquiries, contact:

Kelly Taylor, RN, Family Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 457-1391.

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