Parenting is hard and can be even more stressful during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's important to focus on what is within our control and lean into the supports we have available.
Niagara Parents is here for you. Although some of our programs and services have changed due to COVID-19, we're still offering the following services, though some may take place virtually:
Niagara Parents live chat and phone lines are still open. Connect with a public health nurse about your parenting questions.
For more information on parenting during COVID-19, visit:
For more information on pregnancy, childbirth and caring for newborns during COVID-19, visit:
Our kids' worlds have been turned upside down and it leaves us wondering how we begin to talk to our children and reassure them. Check out the three-part series by Dr. Andrea Feller, Associate Medical Officer of Health at Niagara Region Public Health, as she shares tips on how to start a COVID-19 conversation with your child:
Children cope with stress in different ways. They might be anxious, angry, agitated and / or need more attention than usual.
For strategies on how to help your child cope with stress, visit:
Children and parents are all adjusting to a lot of change and a new normal. Here are resources that provide information on how to cope during this time:
It's normal for something like the COVID-19 pandemic to affect your mental health. Everyone will cope in their own way but it's very important to have coping strategies in place. Visit our mental health page for a full list of mental health resources and supports.
If you or your child are experiencing thoughts of suicide or harming yourself, call 911.
If you are in crisis, call the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) at 1-866-550-5205 or Pathstone Mental Health 24/7 line at 1-800-263-4944.
Other telephone and text options include:
For some, home is not a safe place. Abuse can take many forms. If you, or someone you know is being abused or need helps, reach out to one of the many resources for women and children in need.
For emergency dental health information, call the Niagara Region Dental Health Line at 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7962.
To see how much physical activity your child should be getting, even while at home, visit Caring for Kids.
For ideas on how to keep kids active at home during this time, visit Active for Life.
For healthy eating tips at this time, visit Health Canada to find more information.
Other resources during the COVID-19 pandemic include:
School based clinics were cancelled this spring due to school closures and redeployment of Public Health staff.
Contact your health care provider to discuss your child(ren)s vaccination. If you don't have one, contact a local walk-in clinic about vaccine availability.
Public Health doesn't require schools to collect and submit student vaccination records. Parents or legal guardian's of junior and senior kindergarten registrants and students new in Ontario are asked to report their vaccinations to Public Health.
Learn about the COVID-19 vaccination
You can get any of Canada's COVID-19 vaccines at any time during your pregnancy. Rhe risk of infection and death from COVID-19 outweighs any risk of being vaccinated during pregnancy. In the third wave, younger pregnant individuals who get COVID-19 are experiencing moderate to severe illness. Watch a short video from Niagara Health's Chief of Staff about getting the vaccine while you're pregnant
We also know that:
While not required, it's best to speak with your health care provider to help you decide if the vaccine is right for you. This is important because early clinical trials excluded participants who were pregnant.
However, some people in the trials were found to be pregnant after vaccination. These pregnant individuals haven't reported adverse events to date and continue to be followed. Clinical trials are still ongoing and some new trials that include pregnant individuals.
Planning for pregnancy
According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, there is no evidence or reason to suspect that the COVID-19 vaccine could impact male or female fertility and your ability to get pregnant.
While the proteins syncytin-1 (used for implanting in the placenta) and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein have several similar amino acids, they remain very different. The antibodies produced against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein will not block syncitin-1.
You can get any of Canada's approved COVID-19 vaccines when you're breastfeeding. None of the approved COVID-19 vaccines contain live virus. Because of this, experts believe it's likely safe to breastfeed babies after getting vaccinated. Experts are still investigating whether a person can pass antibodies to their baby through breastmilk, after getting vaccinated.
While not required, it's best to speak with your health care provider to help you decide if the vaccine is right for you. This is important because clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines didn't include individuals who were breastfeeding.