Recent Updates

Recent Updates

May 22nd, 2020

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“My child has type 1 diabetes. Now that schools might open, what do I need to know to protect my child?”

Dr. M. Constantine Samaan, a Pediatric Endocrinologist at the McMaster Children’s Hospital, answers this question.

Watch the video by Diabetes Canada here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTDa8Vz2Fl0

May 20th, 2020

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The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends wearing non-medical masks when physical distancing is not possible.

Read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/about-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html

May 16th, 2020

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Multisystem Inflammatory syndrome and COVID-19 in children

The CDC has begun to investigate new reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in association with COVID-19 in children. MIS-C is a new association of COVID-19, so there is a lot that we do not know about it, including how common it is and who will be the most affected.

Not all cases of MIS-C will have the same symptoms. Common signs and symptoms of MIS-C include:

– Fever

– Abdominal and neck pain

– Vomiting and diarrhea

– Rash

– Feeling tired

The CDC states “If your child has any of these symptoms or other concerning signs, contact your pediatrician. If your child is showing any emergency warning signs including trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, severe abdominal pain, or other concerning signs, seek emergency care right away.”

Read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children.html 

May 15th, 2020

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New Pediatric COVID-19 Symptoms

On May 12, 2020, the CDC added additional pediatric COVID-19 symptoms as follows:

– Shortness of breath

– Headache

– Nasal Congestion (rhinorrhea)

– Poor appetite

Read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/pediatric-hcp.html

May 14th, 2020

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World Health Organization launches COVID-19 mobile application

The WHO Info App is designed to inform the general public on real-time news and developments related to COVID-19.

Read more here: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/13-05-2020-launch-of-the-who-academy-and-the-who-info-mobile-applications

May 13th, 2020

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CDC’s guide to completing essential errands

The CDC has published a guide on how to safely run essential errands like grocery shopping, banking, doctor visits, getting gas, deliveries and take-out.

Read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/essential-goods-services.html 

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The Government of Ontario urges school boards to reschedule events for summer and fall, when it is safe to do so.

This includes graduation ceremonies and prom, to help promote student achievement. 

Read more here: https://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2020/05/school-boards-encouraged-to-celebrate-student-achievement-when-it-is-safe-to-do-so.html 

May 11th, 2020

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Government of Canada provides colouring pages to help children learn more about the COVID-19 pandemic

Caregivers/parents looking for a fun activity to do with their child can try these colouring pages, which include tips for how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/resources-parents-children/colouring-pages.html 

May 9th, 2020

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Tips for parents and caregivers creating learning/play environments at home

As we near the end of Mental Health Week, continue to nurture mental and emotional health. Children, like adults, have several questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and may feel impacted by the changes in regular routines. The Government of Canada provides caregivers with tips including:

– Creating routines for the family

– Making the learning/exploring environment safe and interesting

– Engaging in fun activities (e.g. creating “My Day in Pictures”, playing “Follow the Leader”)

Read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/child-behave-well-nobodys-perfect.html 

May 8th, 2020

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Mental health in Children and Youth during the pandemic

Today is the fifth day of Mental Health Week. It is also the National Child and Youth Mental Health Day.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has shared a resource to help parents and caregivers recognize signs of mental stress in children and youth. 

Read more here: https://ontario.cmha.ca/documents/child-and-youth-mental-health-signs-and-symptoms 

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UNICEF partnered with the Parenting for Lifelong Health initiative to provide parents and caregivers with tips to parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic

These tips include: 

– Talking about COVID-19

– One-on-one time

– Keeping it positive

– Get structured

– Learning through play

– & more!

Read more here: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19-parenting-tips

May 7th, 2020

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3rd annual Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge 2020

Save the date and join the World Health Organization on May 16-17, 2020 for the virtual Walk the Talk, an event that promotes staying healthy at home, with “activities that promote good physical and mental health, hand washing, mental health awareness, and more.”

Read more here: https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2020/05/16/default-calendar/walk-the-talk-the-health-for-all-challenge

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Mental health tips to “#GetReal” about how you feel

Today is the fourth day of Mental Health Week. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our mental health is just as important as our physical health. The Canadian Mental Health Association reminds Canadians to have real conversations about how we are really doing during this time. Here are some tips to “#GetReal” about how we feel:

– Take time to ask the question, “How are you?”, answer with more than simply “fine”.

– Use social media platforms to connect with others, including virtual face-to-face time.

– Practice active listening to promote honest conversations.

– Check in with yourself.

Read more here: https://mentalhealthweek.ca/7-ways-to-getreal-about-how-you-feel/ 

May 6th, 2020

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Steps to take if your pet tests positive for COVID-19

Currently, only a few pets have been confirmed to be positive for the SARs-CoV-2 virus. Some of these cases were asymptomatic, while other pets presented with a mild form of the disease. If you suspect your pet to have COVID-19 consult with your veterinarian. Pets with confirmed COVID-19 should be isolated from other people and other pets. Under no circumstance should you wash your pet with chemical cleaning products or disinfectants not approved for pet use. 

Read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/positive-pet.html 

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Mental health tips for children who may be experiencing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today is day three of Mental Health Week. Everyone reacts differently to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, including children. The Government of Canada provides caregivers with tips for supporting children who may be stressed.

Some tips:

– Help your child remain calm.

– Acknowledge your child’s feelings.

– Participate in fun and easy activities including blowing bubbles and dancing.

Read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/stay-calm-connected-nobodys-perfect.html 

May 5th, 2020

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Mental health resources from the Mental Health Commission of Canada

Today is the second day of Mental Health Week. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Canadians in many ways. Resources from the Mental Health Commission of Canada in response to the COVID-19 pandemic include tips on: 

– Talking to someone in crisis

– Choosing sources of information

– Navigating workplace mental health

– Caregiving

Read more here: https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/covid19 

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Today is World Hand Hygiene Day & Day of the Midwife

Keeping our hands clean is a critical step to preventing the spread of COVID-19

Today, let us all make a commitment to increasing adherence to hand hygiene by:

– Participating in the WHO’s #SafeHands Challenge.

– Acknoweldge nurses and midwives for their important role in delivering clean care.

Read more here: https://www.who.int/infection-prevention/campaigns/clean-hands/5may2020/en/

May 4th, 2020

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Tips for taking care of mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Today is the first day of Mental Health Week. The Government of Canada shares tips on taking care of mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

– Accessing mental health support services and resources (e.g., mental health providers in your community, The Wellness Together Canada portal, Kids Help Phone, Crisis Services Canada)

– Staying informed but also taking breaks from social media and the news

– Practising mindfulness (e.g., meditating and stretching)

– Staying socially connected while physical (social) distancing

– Showing kindness and compassion to yourself and others

Read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/mental-health.html 

May 2nd, 2020

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Breastfeeding and COVID-19

Currently, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through breastfeeding or detected in breast milk. The World Health Organization recommends that mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 continue to have skin-to-skin contact and to breastfeed.

Read more here: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/28-04-2020-new-faqs-address-healthcare-workers-questions-on-breastfeeding-and-covid-19

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Social Connection is the Cure

It is easy to feel isolated and lonely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the beginning of the pandemic loneliness was a growing public health concern. Research has found that the cure for isolation and loneliness is social connection. So during this difficult period take the time to virtually connect with your friends, family members, colleagues and community.

Read more here: https://mentalhealthweek.ca/social-connection-is-the-cure/ 

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Tips on grocery shopping and selecting foods with a longer shelf-life

Read more here: https://www.diabetesfoodhub.org/articles/smart-shopping-staying-healthy-while-staying-home.html

May 1st, 2020

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Cyber Safety Tips During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While practicing physical (social) distancing, individuals are spending a greater amount of time online. Here are some ideas by the Government of Canada to ensure that your home and mobile devices are secure:

1. Create strong passwords

2. Use two-factor authentication

3. Delete suspicious emails

4. Download system updates

5. Secure your smartphone

Read more here: https://getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/blg/pst-20191015-1-en.aspx 

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JDRF Provides Care Recommendations for People with Diabetes During COVID-19 Pandemic

These recommendations have been curated in collaboration with 50 international organizations that are dedicated to reducing the spread of COVID-19

Read more here: https://www.jdrf.ca/news-and-media/press-room/the-jdrf-beyond-type-1-alliance-releases-recommendations-for-people-with-diabetes-during-covid-19-pandemic/ 

April 30th, 2020

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Resources for caregiving while working during the COVID-19 pandemic

Caregiving while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming. Managers and colleagues can support colleagues who are caregivers, such as by checking-in and arranging flexible meeting times, where possible.

Read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/government/publicservice/covid-19/caregiving-working.html 

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“5 ways to help keep children learning during the COVID-19 pandemic”

In this video, the UNICEF Global Chief of Education, Robert Jenkins, offers 5 tips to keeping children learning at home:

Read more here: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/5-tips-help-keep-children-learning-during-covid-19-pandemic

April 29th, 2020

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Beware of fraudulent activity and scams taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified some fraudulent activity through email and popular communication apps (e.g. WhatsApp) that attempt to impersonate the WHO. Please remain vigilant and avoid clicking on unknown links or attachments.

Read more here: https://www.who.int/about/communications/cyber-security

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World Health Organization releases illustrated guide to managing stress during the COVID-19 pandemic

“Informed by evidence and extensive field testing, the guide aims to equip people with practical skills to cope with adversity, such as dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Read more here: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/9789240003927

April 27th, 2020

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Parenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Read more here: http://ow.ly/LpeH50znIr4 


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6 New Symptoms have been added to the CDC list for COVID-19

The CDC has expanded its COVID-19 symptom list to now include: chills, repeated shaking with chills, headaches, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. These symptoms were added to the original list, which included: fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html 

April 26th, 2020

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Food safety during the COVID-19 pandemic

So far, there has been no cases of COVID-19 transmission through food, which is good news.

To stay safe, the Government of Canada has published guidance on how to safely handle food during the pandemic:

– Wash your hands or use hand sanitizers before and after you handle food and food packages.

– Wash fruits and vegetables. There is not need to wash fresh produce with chemicals or soap.

– Cook food to recommended temperatures. See this chart: recommended safe internal temperatures.

– Avoid raw and cooked food contact.

– Clean surfaces before and after using them to process food.

Read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/food-safety/covid19.html#safe_shopping_when

April 25th, 2020

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World Health Organization: No evidence of immunity in people recovered from first COVID-19 infection 

“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”

Read more here: https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/immunity-passports-in-the-context-of-covid-19

April 24rd, 2020

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Children should continue to receive their vaccinations during the COVID19 pandemic

While there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, it is important that other vaccines are taken to protect children from serious illnesses caused by germs. 

Read more here: https://www.unicef.org/stories/vaccinations-and-covid-19-what-parents-need-know 

April 23rd, 2020

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UNICEF and the WHO in partnership with the International Publishers Association have launched a virtual book reading initiative

Authors of popular children’s books will be reading excerpts of their books virtually to engage children across the world in reading. 

Read more here: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/read-the-world

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CDC confirms positive SARS-CoV-2 infection in two pet cats

Two pet cats in New York are the first confirmed animals in the United States to test positive for COVID-19. At this time, public health officials stated there is no evidence to suggest animals are contributing to the spread of the virus and thus do not recommend routine testing of pets. 

CDC recommendations are as follows: 

– “Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.

Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.

Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.

Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.

When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.

Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.

If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

Read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s0422-covid-19-cats-NYC.html

April 21st, 2020

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Government of Canada supports Canadians with free mental wellness resources during the COVID-19 pandemic

Read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2020/04/government-of-canada-connects-canadians-with-mental-wellness-supports-during-covid-190.html 


Wellness Together Canada: https://ca.portal.gs/

April 21st, 2020

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The Ontario government boosts funding for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Given the trying circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government has increased funding for online mental health support within the province. The CMHA’s BounceBack program is now available for free, for individuals 15 years and older who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety, depression, irritability and other mental health challenges. BounceBack offers telephone coaching, online workbooks and videos to help improve mental health. This of course is useful for patients and families with diabetes as well.

For more information on the BounceBack program visit: BounceBack

Read more here: https://cmhahamilton.ca/news/cmhas-bounceback-key-part-of-expanded-mental-health-supports-available-to-all-ontarians-during-covid-19-pandemic/ 

April 20th, 2020

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Evidence so far suggests that COVID‐19 is a milder disease with better prognosis in children than in adults

A paper published recently reported that the course of COVID-19 in children seemed to suggest a milder disease with better outcomes when compared to adults.

Read more here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/apa.15270

April 19th, 2020

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A learning passport has been launched through a partnership between UNICEF, Microsoft, and the University of Cambridge to address the education crisis with COVID-19

To tackle the disruption of education systems around the world with COVID-19, UNICEF has teamed up with Microsoft and the University of Cambridge to launch the Learning Passport. This virtual learning program will be made specifically for each affected country, including online resources (books, videos) for schoolchildren and their families.

Read more here: https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/unicef-and-microsoft-launch-global-learning-platform-help-address-covid-19-education

April 19th, 2020

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The WHO report on the use of NSAID to treat symptoms of viral infections did not find evidence specific to COVID-19, but showed no serious adverse events of their uses with viral infections in general

The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are widely used to treat symptoms with viral infections. Examples include Ibuprofen.

The WHO published a report recently that looked at the evidence of severe adverse events with the use of NSAID like Ibuprofen, (called Advil in Canada) with viral infections in adults and children.

The report also looked at acetaminophen, a non-NSAID that is commonly used in children (called Tylenol in Canada).

while there were no COVID-19 specific studies about the use of these medications, there was no evidence that both Ibuprofen or acetaminophen result is serious adverse events in adults and children.

Read more here: https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/the-use-of-non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory-drugs-(nsaids)-in-patients-with-covid-19

April 17th, 2020

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The Canadian government introduces new measures for non-medical mask use with transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Canadian Ministry of Transportation announced that air passengers are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering, while marine and other modes of transportation are encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings. These measures come into effect at noon EDT on April 20, 2020.

Read more here: https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/04/new-measures-introduced-for-non-medical-masks-or-face-coverings-in-the-canadian-transportation-system.html

April 3rd, 2020

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Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant COVID-19 Community-Based Transmission

Authors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand washing remain critical to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Please note that this view is not necessarily shared by other health organizations, so check the instructions of your local public health authorities.

Read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html

March 24th, 2020

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BSPED statement on Glucocorticoid replacement and COVID-19 infection

Authors: British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes

The British Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and diabetes (BSPED) issued a statement regarding the use of steroids in those with adrenal insufficiency.

This statement is also important in those children and youth who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes and also have adrenal insufficiency.

Stress dosing recommendations need to be implemented if a patient with diabetes and adrenal insufficiency gets a COVID-19 infection. Insulin dose adjustments may be needed if the stress dose of steroids leads to hyperglycemia. Follow your team’s direction on this issue.

Children and young people who are taking steroids (hydrocortisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone) because their adrenal glands do not work properly are at no more risk of catching COVID-19 than other children.

However, it is very important that all medicines are given regularly and at the doses recommended by the doctor.

It is important to ensure that there is enough medicine at home, without stockpiling, and that the sick day rules are followed if not feeling well.

Read more here: https://www.bsped.org.uk/news/item?artId=14066

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