Effective March 21, 2022
Lambton Public Health is here to support you, your family, caregivers, and all settings involved with the care, growth, and development of your loved ones. We are in this together and it is only by acting as one can we get through it. Looking for more information? Send us a question.
NOTE: This information is subject to the February 14 announcement that Ontario Moving to Next Phase of Reopening
Included below is information for supporting your family and those you care for in various settings:
Families at Home
Have questions about prenatal care? Looking for information about breastfeeding? Experiencing the “baby blues”? Questions about growth and development or parenting? Call our Family Health Line at 519-383-3817 and/or visit our webpage about your child’s health.
COVID-19 Resources for Parents
- COVID-19 Vaccination During Pregnancy – The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
- COVID-19 – Pregnancy, Childbirth and Caring for Newborns – Public Health Canada
- Is the COVID Vaccine Safe for Kids? – Pediatricians of Ontario
- Shared Parenting Tips – Lambton Public Health
- How to Care for A Child Who Needs to Self-Isolate – Public Health Ontario
- Does my partner get parenting time if my child and I are self-isolating or under quarantine? – Steps to Justice
- COVID-19: Kids, here’s what you need to know – Government of Canada
Mental Health Resources
- Family Care Centre – Children’s Mental Health Ontario
- Mental Health Supports for kids – St Clair Child & Youth Services
- Kids Help Phone – Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7, national support service. They offer professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French
- Mental Health Activities for at Home – School Mental Health Ontario
- Covid -19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub – Jack.org
Caring for Someone in your Household?
Whether you are caring for a family member, friend, or neighbour, follow the recommendations below to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Consider your health before helping others, especially if you are at higher-risk for COVID-19.
- Protect yourself using good public health safety measures.
- Remember: If you have any symptoms of illness, or have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms, stay home and self-isolate and if further care is needed, contact your health care provider or Lambton Public Health. You may get tested if you fall into a specific at-risk group as outlined in the December 30th provincial announcement.
Caring for Someone Outside your Household?
Consider the following tips to reduce the risk and transmission of COVID-19:
- For non-essential interactions: contact others in a safe way – phone, e-mail, notes, etc.
- If someone has asked you to help them, do not enter their home unless necessary.
- If face-to-face contact is required, remember to practice physical distancing. Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible
- Limit non-essential visits in and outside of the home. Use food and medication delivery services where possible. Connect the person to social programs either over the phone (eg. Tel-check or Lambton County Connects), or set up online chats by downloading apps on their electronic devices or connecting them with social media sites that connect them to programming or loved ones.
COVID-19 Resources for Caregivers
- COVID-19 Resources – Ontario Caregiver Organization
Parents face a difficult choice in weighing the anxieties of returning to school/childcare against the emotional strain and social isolation of on-line learning at home. Those decisions should be guided by the advice of public health officials, the prevalence of the virus in the community, the family’s risk factors and the child’s individual needs. There’s no perfect answer for everybody; it is going to be uncomfortable and we need to be able to adjust and accept the big emotions and feelings along the way. Medical professionals can offer advice to help figure out what’s best for your family.
One of the most important things parents/guardians can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is keeping their children home when they have symptoms of illness.
Lambton County schools and child care providers have been working with Lambton Public Health to put policies and procedures into place to open their doors offering a safer environment. For more information, please refer to the Guidance for Schools and/or the Guidance for Child Care Centres to see what they are doing to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
Preparing your Children for In-School Learning
Before we get back to learning, we’ll need to relearn “back to school”. Help your young person know what to expect, schedule in extra time for setbacks, and model patience – it’s everyone’s first day at school this year.
Things to Consider: Relearning Back to school
- Screen for COVID-19 every day before going to school (use this tool if you are unsure)
- Practice good public health safety measures
- Practice good toilet training behaviours
- Label all items with your child’s name before going into school
- Normalize the expression of feelings, and foster coping strategies for big emotions
- Ensure your child’s immunizations are up to date
Remember: It’s ok to feel overwhelmed as a parent, reach out to trusted supports when you’re in need.
Preparing your Children for At-Home or Remote Learning
As a parent it is always your right to decide what is best for your child. If for whatever reason you feel the safest place for your child to learn is at home, it is within your rights to engage them with at-home or remote learning.
The school boards have made remote, online learning available so be sure to review that information found in the boards’ respective back to school plans.
While learning at home, your child will still need structure and a routine for their day that includes healthy meals, time for physical activity and time to socialize.
If you choose to school your child at home here are some additional resources for you to review:
- Learn at home – Ministry of Education – activities, courses, and more
- Learning outcomes – Ministry of Education
- Activities to do with Kids – Lambton Public Health
- Physical Activity for Kids (Virtual – at home) – YMCA
- Check out Lambton County Libraries
For more information on what to do when your child becomes sick please visit our Living with Covid-19 webpage.
In the Community
There are lots of things that you can do alone or with others while reducing your risk of COVID-19. Everyone’s risk level and perception of risk is different. Check out our Going Out Safely info-graphic/poster to decide what is best for your family. Learn about ways to protect yourself and your family while returning to a new normal.
Whenever you are out, remember to:
- Keep a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others.
- Wear a mask when you are required to do so.
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Cough/sneeze into your sleeve or use a tissue. Dispose of tissue immediately and wash your hands.
- Stay home if you are sick.
Frequently Asked Questions
Public health units will no longer be dismissing cohorts when an individual becomes ill in your child’s class. Individuals within cohorts may be identified by the case as a close contact based on their prolonged, unprotected, close interaction with the case. However, the rest of the cohort would not be considered a close contact.
If your child has been notified by an individual with symptoms and/or positive test results please refer to our Living With COVID-19 webpage for next steps.
In uncertain times, an important way to care for others is to care for ourselves. If you are feeling worried or uncomfortable about the current situation, you’re not alone, that is to be expected. Be sure to deal with your emotions in healthy ways by staying physically active, eating and sleep well, and talking openly with loved ones. If you are feeling so overwhelmed that it is impacting your day to day functioning, you may want to reach out to a mental health professional.
Your child is experiencing a lot of emotions right now, you can support them in a few ways:
• Help them identify their emotions and express them in a safe way. Talk about how certain emotions feel, discuss safe ways to express them (ie. drawing, physical activity, journaling, etc.), and let them know those feelings are natural.
• Reassure them that this will pass. Feeling uncertain or worried is often temporary and will subside with time. Having healthy ways to cope with these feelings can help children become more resilient. Learn more about mental health and resources to support students at School Mental Health Ontario.
See COVID-19: Information for visitors to long-term care homes for current long-term care visitor guidance, and call your home before visiting.
General visitors to long-term care homes must pass active screening and wear a medical mask, as well as practice physical distancing and hand hygiene.
As with all other medical procedures, COVID-19 vaccines are only provided with informed consent. As per the Ontario Health Care Consent Act, there is no age limit that sets out when people can provide informed consent and make medical decisions on their own. Consent can be provided by anyone who is capable of doing so, including those aged 12 to 17. This means they understand the treatment, why it is being recommended, and the risks and benefits if they accept or refuse to be vaccinated. It is the role of the health provider to determine if their patient can consent to treatment and is a regular and routine process that health providers undertake before performing any medical procedure. If a child or youth is incapable of consenting to receiving the vaccine, they would need consent from their substitute decision-maker, such as their parent or legal guardian. The health care provider, school, and family must respect a young person’s decision regarding vaccination.
Ask a Question
Fill out the form below if you have a question about COVID-19 and taking care of children.