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What’s New at your Doctor’s Office?

The Rourke record is a template that Canadian physicians use to help in making sure that they are providing good preventive care for the children they care for. Developed in Canada by family physicians, James and Leslie Rourke, this template looks at the most relevant evidence and provides a guide for the optimal care of young children. The Rourke record received its most recent update in 2017. Reviewing the changes to the Rourke can be a “what’s what” in looking at changes to child development thinking and care of young children. The following are the most significant recent changes to the Rourke record:

1. Nutrition- There was a strong recommendation in this update against the use of homemade infant formulas. It was also recommended that all breast fed children use vitamin D supplementation. Most importantly there was a recommendation to introduce allergenic foods early. We have traditionally delayed the introduction of fish, eggs and nuts until a year of age but current evidence indicates that early introduction lessens the risk of allergies.

2. Sleep- the new guidelines stressed the importance of having consistent hours of sleep. It was recommended that screen time be avoided for 60 minutes before sleep.

3. There was an emphasis on the teaching of oral health. The recommendations can be found on the website www.smilesforlifeoralhealth.org

4. Vaccines- All pregnant women should receive Tdap- a tetanus, diptheria and pertussis in pregnancy. The primary reason for this recommendation is to prevent whooping cough (pertussis) in babies in the first two years of life.

The changes to the Rourke record are coming to a primary care practitioner near you! Be ready to ask questions for the health of your child.

Dr. Bhooma Bhayana is a family physician in London and the mother of two young men and grandmother of one lovely princess! She continues to find wonder and enjoyment in family practice despite more than 30 years on the job!


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