A new study, titled “Raising Canada” and carried out by Children First Canada and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, revealed that Canadian children present high rates of mental illness, poverty, and mortality.
According to the report, about 1.2 million Canadian children live in low-income housing, while approximately 11% of the families with kids aged up to six years stated they experience food insecurity. Besides, Canada has on of the highest children mortality rate among all the OECD countries, although the majority of deaths involving infants are preventable.
“We have this idea that Canada is a great place to raise kids, but we rank 25th out of 41 wealthy countries globally when it comes to the development of children,” said Sara Austin, Director of Children First Canada. “In a poll, most Canadians thought that we were a top-five country for kids. We’re far from being a leading country. We have close to eight million children in Canada, and too many are in jeopardy,” added Sara Austin.
Mental illness, poverty, and mortality rates are high among Canadian children, while vaccination rates are low
“An alarm bell needs to be rung. There is a range of factors that contribute to mental health issues. Our report also highlights the number of kids who experience child abuse – one in three in Canada. That’s also closely linked to mental health outcomes,” Austin added.
According to the report, 28 percent of the Canadian children of between 12 and 17 years old are obese or overweight, while only 35% of those aged between 5 and 17 are doing enough physical activity. Besides, 25% of the Canadian children didn’t get their doses of diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus vaccine.
“We don’t know why these children aren’t getting their vaccines and we need to do further research. But the evidence shows that immunizations are the most cost-effective strategies for improving health outcome. This requires urgent action,” concluded Sara Austin.