Healthy Families Hamilton

Healthy Families Hamilton Do you have questions about pregnancy and parenting children from 0-6 in Hamilton? We have answers! Healthy Families Hamilton is a City of Hamilton Public Health Services' page updated by our Registered Nurses and Registered Dietitians Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm (excluding holidays).

We share information and respond to your questions about pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting, child safety, growth and development, healthy eating, and taking care of yourself as a parent. We plan to expand our page in the future to include information for parents of children and youth up to age 18. You can also call us at Health Connections 905-546-3550 or visit us at www.hamilton.ca/familyhealth. Thanks for stopping by! Please refer to the Legal Disclaimer tab for additional information about your privacy and the terms and conditions of your use of Healthy Families Hamilton.

Mission: The Healthy Families Division (of Hamilton Public Health Services) promotes health and well-being of children, youth, and families through Public Health programs, children's mental health services, education, and research.

Operating as usual

Did you know that the Ontario Poison Centre is available to help you and your family and to answer questions about poiso...
03/03/2021

Did you know that the Ontario Poison Centre is available to help you and your family and to answer questions about poisons 24 hours a day, every day of the year? They can help people of all ages in more than 170 languages. Call right away if you think your child might have been poisoned. Add the Ontario Poison Centre number to your phone! 1 800 268 9017

One simple tip you can do is put the Ontario Poison number in your phone!

Call right away if you think your child might be poisoned.

Comment “done” if you put the number in your phone! ~Lori Chithalen, RN

It’s winter! Get out and enjoy the outdoors! What outdoor activities are you and your family enjoying this winter?For he...
03/02/2021

It’s winter! Get out and enjoy the outdoors! What outdoor activities are you and your family enjoying this winter?

For healthy growth and development, children need a balance of physical activity, high-quality sedentary behaviour, and enough sleep.
Children’s outdoor play is essential for their healthy development. Outdoor play in early childhood benefits their physical health, mental well-being and cognitive and social development. Children should have daily access to outdoor play.

Check out the The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years (0-4 years)
https://csepguidelines.ca/
~Lori Chithalen, RN

Ready for some outdoor fun #HamOnt! Recreation staff will be at select locations handing out activity kits, for details ...
03/01/2021

Ready for some outdoor fun #HamOnt! Recreation staff will be at select locations handing out activity kits, for details and COVID safety measures, check out www.hamilton.ca/frostyfun #WinterInHamilton
~Lori Chithalen, RN

When routines are reliable and consistent, children can predict what is going to happen next.  Having consistent and rel...
03/01/2021

When routines are reliable and consistent, children can predict what is going to happen next. Having consistent and reliable routines will help your child:
• Feel safe and secure
• Trust their environment
• Learn that their needs will be met
• Learn social skills (like saying “hello” when greeting someone)
• Learn what is expected of them
• Transition between activities …. especially transitioning to bed time.
Stay tuned as I will share more about the benefits of having routines. ~Lori Chithalen, RN

Does your baby’s meal time look more like arts and crafts than dinner? Say yes to the mess! Your baby learns important f...
02/26/2021

Does your baby’s meal time look more like arts and crafts than dinner? Say yes to the mess!

Your baby learns important feeding skills by touching food with their hands. In fact, it is recommended to offer your baby finger foods in a variety of textures starting around 6 months of age to help develop motor skills and encourage self-feeding. This includes pureed, soft mashed, lumpy, ground, finely minced and grated foods. Yes, it can be messy learning to eat, but allowing your baby to feed themselves is very important and is good practice!

Keep your eyes on this page for more information throughout the day about embracing the mess and introducing finger foods to your baby. As always, comments and questions are welcome 😊

~ Irene Alfaro, BASc., MHSc. Nutrition Communication candidate

Many women express their breast milk by hand or with a breast pump and want to keep it to give to their baby later on. D...
02/25/2021

Many women express their breast milk by hand or with a breast pump and want to keep it to give to their baby later on. Do you know how long breast milk can be stored in the fridge? What about the freezer?

Here is a handy guide for you when storing your breastmilk:

Room temperature: 3-4 hours
Small cooler bag with ice packs: 24 hours
Fridge: 3-5 days
Fridge Freezer: 3-6 months
Deep Freezer: 6-12 months

I will share some more information about storing breast milk later today. Feel free to ask any questions or share your experience!

~ Adrienne Bell, RD.

#HamOnt families! Looking for some fun ideas? Recreation staff will be at select locations handing out activity kits, fo...
02/23/2021

#HamOnt families! Looking for some fun ideas? Recreation staff will be at select locations handing out activity kits, for details and COVID safety measures visit www.hamilton.ca/frostyfun #WinterInHamilton ~Lori Chithalen, RN

Hearing is very important for language, literacy and brain development. Success in school is linked to literacy—being ab...
02/23/2021

Hearing is very important for language, literacy and brain development. Success in school is linked to literacy—being able to read and write effectively.
To be able to speak, children need to hear. Children who hear and speak, learn to read and write more easily.

What signs would you see if your child was having trouble hearing? ~Lori Chithalen, RN

Is your child struggling with their thoughts and feelings these days? If you’re looking for mental health services, talk...
02/22/2021

Is your child struggling with their thoughts and feelings these days? If you’re looking for mental health services, talk to someone who can help: www.hamilton.ca/CYmentalhealth
~Lori Chithalen, RN

When your baby starts to eat solid food, you may worry about them gagging or choking on food. Gagging is a normal reflex...
02/19/2021

When your baby starts to eat solid food, you may worry about them gagging or choking on food. Gagging is a normal reflex for babies and is there to help them avoid choking. Gagging happens when the food they eat gets too close to the back of their tongue before they are ready to swallow. This causes your baby to gag or cough to protect them from choking.

Learning to eat takes time and practice! Babies can try a variety of textures from 6 months of age: pureed, minced, mashed or grated pieces of food as well as soft safe finger foods. It is important that lumpy textures are offered no later than 9 months of age and that babies are encouraged to progress through a variety of textures by 1 year of age.

These feeding tips can help you and your baby when they start eating solid foods at around 6 months of age:

• Have your baby sit up straight (not slouched, lying down, crawling or walking) and buckle them securely in a high chair.
• Serve food at the table and remove distractions (TV, toys, cell phone) to help you and your baby focus on eating.
• If you are spoon feeding, use a smaller spoon and put less food on the spoon. If your baby is eating food with their hands, let them grab the food and put it into their own mouth. If they are putting more food in their mouth than they can manage, try putting less food in front of them at a time. Let your baby guide the pace of eating.
• Offer textures your baby can easily eat. If your baby is gagging on foods that are mashed with big lumps, try smaller lumps.
• Always stay with your baby while they eat.
• If your baby gags often, has trouble swallowing, or chokes on food, talk to your health care provider.

Tune in later today for more food safety tips for your baby!

~ Irene Alfaro, BASc., MHSc. Nutrition Communication candidate

It’s never too early to start looking after your child’s mouth and teeth! Healthy teeth and gums are important as your c...
02/18/2021

It’s never too early to start looking after your child’s mouth and teeth! Healthy teeth and gums are important as your child grows to help them develop good speech, healthy eating habits and good social skills.

What causes cavities?
The most common oral disease in children is tooth decay (cavities) caused by bacteria in the mouth. Every day a sticky film called plaque (consists of bacteria and food debris) forms on the teeth. If plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing on a regular basis, it can cause cavities and lead to gum disease.

Children can get cavities as soon as teeth erupt. Often, early cavities start on the top front teeth.

Do you know the signs of early childhood tooth decay?
Once a month, lift your child’s upper lip and take a look at their teeth. Check for any signs of decay such as a chalky white (stage 2 decay) or brown spot (stage 3 decay) on the front and back of their upper front teeth.

If you notice anything unusual, take your child to the dentist.

Remember this advice: “Lift the lip” once a month to check your baby or child’s teeth. It’s very important to check for early signs of tooth decay in your child. To learn how to do this simple assessment of tooth decay, watch this 3-minute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05QLGBWJFwE.

~ Adrienne Bell, RD.

Do you have a child who will be starting school in September 2021?Did you know that many of the Hamilton area schools st...
02/17/2021

Do you have a child who will be starting school in September 2021?
Did you know that many of the Hamilton area schools start Kindergarten registration in February?

Practicing daily routines is one way to help your child get ready for school. What are some other ways that you can help your child prepare for school? ~Lori Chithalen, RN

Hey #HamOnt families! Recreation staff will be at select locations handing out activity kits, because active and creativ...
02/16/2021

Hey #HamOnt families! Recreation staff will be at select locations handing out activity kits, because active and creative play help keep us all healthy, for details and COVID safety measures visit www.hamilton.ca/frostyfun #WinterInHamilton ~Lori Chithalen, RN

One important way of encouraging good behaviour is to praise your child. Notice your child behaving well and praise them...
02/16/2021

One important way of encouraging good behaviour is to praise your child. Notice your child behaving well and praise them for the behaviour you like.

Praise and encouragement can also be used to:
• guide children through the many small steps it takes to master new skills
• Help them develop a positive self-image
• Provide the motivation they need to stay with a difficult task

Stay tuned as I will share some tips on how to make praise more effective.
~Lori Chithalen, RN

02/12/2021

Healthy Families Hamilton will be closed on Monday, February 15th for the stat holiday and no staff will be monitoring the page that day. Healthy Families Hamilton will reopen on Tuesday, February 16th at 8:30am. To speak with a Public Health Nurse, call Health Connections at 905-546-3550, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For information on how our page works, please see our Legal Disclaimer.

Happy Family Day everyone!
~ Adrienne Bell, RD

Feeding toddlers (young children aged 1 to 3) can be a real adventure! They love something one day, hate it the next. Th...
02/12/2021

Feeding toddlers (young children aged 1 to 3) can be a real adventure! They love something one day, hate it the next. They eat a lot sometimes and hardly anything another time. They want to be independent during mealtimes and in charge of what they eat.

As parents and caregivers, this can be frustrating!! But we can also embrace it and feed their independent spirit! Teaching our young children to eat in a healthy way is so important because we are helping them create healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

It also helps to understand what’s typical at this age and share ideas about feeding toddlers. I have LOTS of information to share that I hope you will find helpful. Stay tuned as I will post many tips throughout the day.

If you have questions, feel free to ask me. If you have tips, please share! 😊

~ Adrienne Bell, RD.

Do you know what beverages are safe to drink during pregnancy?It can be confusing to make decisions during your pregnanc...
02/11/2021

Do you know what beverages are safe to drink during pregnancy?

It can be confusing to make decisions during your pregnancy about what beverages to drink when sometimes you read or hear different information. Today, we will help clear up the messages about beverage safety during pregnancy!

It may help to think of this in 3 main categories: Green means enjoy often. Yellow means enjoy sometimes. Red means avoid during pregnancy.

Can anyone guess which herbal teas are in the yellow and red categories? Hint: look at the item next to the cup!

I will be posting more information throughout the day. 😊 Feel free to ask questions in the comments below! I would love to hear from you. 😊

~ Irene Alfaro, BASc., MHSc. Nutrition Communication candidate

Let’s get active #HamOnt! Check out www.hamilton.ca/frostyfun for various Recreation activities to enjoy outdoor, COVID ...
02/10/2021
Frosty Fun with Recreation | City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Let’s get active #HamOnt! Check out www.hamilton.ca/frostyfun for various Recreation activities to enjoy outdoor, COVID 19 safety measures are in effect, advance reservations may be required. #WinterInHamilton
~Lori Chithalen, RN

Programs Cancelled February 5, 2021: Snowshoe lending cancelled today due to low snow coverage at the Golf course. Have some Frosty Fun with Recreation! This winter, Recreation staff will be leading special outdoor activities and virtual programming. Spaces may be limited with reservations required....

There have been many changes because of COVID-19. If your child is having a hard time managing their emotions it can be ...
02/10/2021

There have been many changes because of COVID-19. If your child is having a hard time managing their emotions it can be very difficult. We are here to help. Public Health Services has free online and phone counselling for children under 18 and their families. For younger children 0-6, therapists can help you with extra tips and support to help your little one have a more calm and happy day. Book an appointment: https://bit.ly/2Z4HtIX
~Lori Chithalen, RN

The handle of an infant car seat should always be placed in the following position while in the vehicle:A) Upright B) Do...
02/09/2021

The handle of an infant car seat should always be placed in the following position while in the vehicle:

A) Upright
B) Down
C) At the top of the car seat’s shell
D) It depends – read the car seat’s owners manual

*Please note this car seat is a US model and not designed for use in Canada.

~Lori Chithalen, RN

Many parents wonder when they can introduce cow’s milk to their baby, what type of milk to give them and how much they s...
02/05/2021

Many parents wonder when they can introduce cow’s milk to their baby, what type of milk to give them and how much they should offer.

Keep in mind that Health Canada recommends breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond (in addition to a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU/day for baby). If you decide to introduce cow’s milk as a main milk source, it can be introduced between 9-12 months of age once your baby is eating a variety of iron-rich foods (such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, tofu and iron-fortified baby cereals) at least twice a day. Homogenized whole (3.25% M.F.) cow’s milk is recommended to provide the energy and fat needed for growing babies. You can offer about 2 to 3 cups (500 – 700 mL) per day.

I will post more information mid-day! If you have questions, feel free to ask me. 😊

~ Irene Alfaro, BASc., MHSc. Nutrition Communication candidate.

Get some fresh air #HamOnt & enjoy various outdoor recreation activities at select locations, COVID 19 safety measures a...
02/04/2021

Get some fresh air #HamOnt & enjoy various outdoor recreation activities at select locations, COVID 19 safety measures are in effect. Visit www.hamilton.ca/frostyfun for more information, advance reservations may be required. #WinterInHamilton ~Lori Chithalen, RN

Hand expression is when you use your hands to get milk out of your breasts. This is an important skill for mothers to le...
02/04/2021

Hand expression is when you use your hands to get milk out of your breasts. This is an important skill for mothers to learn because it helps you to:

• Express a few drops of milk to get baby interested in latching on the breast.
• Prevent soreness by gently rubbing a few drops of milk onto your nipples.
• Soften your breasts near your nipples before latching your baby, if they are very full.
• Make your breasts comfortable if they are full and your baby is not feeding.
• Express milk for your baby if you are going to be away from them or need to feed them other than directly at your breast.
• Increase your milk supply.

You can practice expressing breast milk as soon as your baby is born or even a week or two before your baby is born. Here are some instructions on how to express milk and you can also watch how to do this in the videos I’ve posted below.

To express colostrum or breast milk for your baby:
• Wash your hands well.
• Find a place where you are comfortable and relaxed.
• Gently massage your breasts moving from the chest wall toward the nipple. Massage can help milk to flow. It may also help to gently handle your nipples with your fingers.
• Try a warm towel on your breast for a few minutes.
• Hold your breast with one hand, not too close to the nipple. The thumb and fingers of your hand should be opposite each other and about 2 1/2 – 4 cm (1 to 1 1/2 inches) back from your nipple.
• Gently press your breast inwards toward your chest.
• Lightly compress your thumb and fingers together towards each other, without rubbing the skin.
• Relax your fingers up to a couple of seconds then repeat the same motion. Do not squeeze the base of your nipple, as this will stop the flow of milk and it could make you sore.
• Move your fingers around your breast so you can express from your whole breast. Continue for about a minute or until milk stops flowing. You may want to switch hands and switch from one breast to the other. Try to express any milk lumps that may be in your breast.
• Collect the milk on a teaspoon or a container with a wide mouth. You can then feed your baby the colostrum or breastmilk using a small cup or spoon.

Here are a few short videos that our public health lactation consultants have shared that shows how you can express your breast milk and colostrum for your baby:
- https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/video-hand-expressing-breastmilk (4 minutes)
- https://med.stanford.edu/newborns/professional-education/breastfeeding/hand-expressing-milk.html (7 minutes)
- https://player.vimeo.com/video/65196007 (5 minutes).

More on how to give your hand expressed breast milk to your baby later on today. ~ Adrienne Bell, RD.

Do you think you could tell if your child was having trouble seeing? ~Lori Chithalen, RN
02/03/2021

Do you think you could tell if your child was having trouble seeing? ~Lori Chithalen, RN

Children should be physically active each day as part of play, games, sports, active transportation, recreation and phys...
02/02/2021

Children should be physically active each day as part of play, games, sports, active transportation, recreation and physical education. This includes outside activity that encourages children to explore a natural environment and take risks.
Physical activity should also take place with family, in childcare, in school, and in the community.
It is important that children participate in all different types of activities to meet the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines.

Are you looking for activities to do with your children? Why not “Have a Ball Together?” There are over 100 fun and simple games and activities designed to get children active (ages 0-6 years). These activities are grouped by age, space availability and by equipment required.

Check out https://haveaballtogether.ca/activities/ to find out more about the games and activities available to share with your family

Sport for Life has developed a series of short videos called “Physical Literacy at Home” that help support parents and guardians and kids to develop physical literacy at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://sportforlife.ca/facing-covid-19-together/

Lori Chithalen, RN

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General information

The City of Hamilton staff departments will ensure that inclusive methods of communications will be made available to persons who have disabilities and ensure that they are adapted, where possible, to take into account a person’s disability. Documents will be made available, on request. If you require this support, please private message Healthy Families Hamilton.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 16:30
Tuesday 08:30 - 16:30
Wednesday 08:30 - 16:30
Thursday 08:30 - 16:30
Friday 08:30 - 16:30

Telephone

(905) 546-3550

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Healthy Families Hamilton is a City of Hamilton Public Health Services' page founded on September 9, 2013.

We share information and respond to your questions about pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting, child safety, growth and development, healthy eating, dental health and taking care of yourself as a parent. You can also call us at Health Connections 905-546-3550 or visit us at www.hamilton.ca/public-health

Please refer to the Legal Disclaimer tab for additional information about your privacy and the terms and conditions of your use of Healthy Families Hamilton.

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Comments

The new recommendations from Dr.Richardson on gyms are simply ridiculous and grossly exaggerate the situation. Limiting gyms to 10 people including staff isn't realistic. Wearing masks during exercise is a direct contradiction of Health Canada regulations which warns of heart and other serious problems if masks are worn. Clearly Dr. Richardson has no understanding of gyms and the benefits they provide. She should refrain from making such ridiculous and impractical statements. Obviously you want people to cooperate with Public Health guidelines but, if you make unrealistic demands you will only anger the people that use gyms. In my case, if you make going to the gym any more difficult, I will disobey every recommendation you make, not just regarding gyms but going in public in general. Instead of working to prevent the spread, I will do whatever I can to make Covid and other germs spread more!!!!!!!! And there are lots more who feel the same way I do!!!!!!!
Happening tomorrow! Both you and your child will each get a $10 for participating. Free parking & light refreshments also provided. REGISTER BELOW. Let me know if there are questions.
The Central West Tobacco Control Area Network (CW TCAN) wants to know more about what youth and their caregivers know about vaping. Register to attend with your child and participate in separate 1-hour focus groups during any one of the following times/locations. $10 gift cards, refreshments & free parking provided! Wednesday January 15th, 2020 (6:45-8:00pm) Ancaster Rotary Centre (385 Jerseyville Rd. W.) Rooms 2 & 3 https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/88902151729 Wednesday January 22nd, 2020 (6:45-8:00pm) David Braley Health Sciences Centre (100 Main St. W.) Rooms 2018 & 2019 https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/88905943069 Thursday January 23rd, 2020 (6:45-8:00pm) McMaster Innovation Park (175 Longwood Rd. S.) Rms 4 & 5 https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/88911957057
Last chance to register for "the Unfiltered Facts about Vaping" tomorrow night. Register at:
Will there be another feeding your babies seminar? I missed the Oct 17 one
Today I had my last Welcome Baby Class, with Stephanie dietitian, Hannah and Stephanie nurses. They are kind, helpful, knowledgeable women. In the past 13 months: I 've learned a lot, had fun, met great people. And the most important thing I had support during my pregnancy and 6 months after that. Thank you ladies.
Healthy Families Hamilton is experiencing technical difficulties related to facebook verifying our account. Please call Health Connections 905-546-3550 to speak with a Public Health Nurse. We apologize for any inconvenience.
With a newborn, how long should bottles, nipples, feeding tubes etc stay submerged in a rolling boil to be considered sanitized?
Good morning! Feel free to post your answers, comments and questions you may have here. Call Hamilton’s Quit Smoking Clinic at (905) 546-2424 Ext. 3788 to find out how you and/or a family member can quit!  ~Belinda Marazzato, RN
Good morning Hamilton families! Feel free to post your answers, comments and questions you may have here. Call Hamilton’s Quit Smoking Clinic at (905) 546-2424 Ext. 3788 to find out how you and/or a family member can quit!  ~Belinda Marazzato RN