Towards Recovery from the COVID‑19 Pandemic – the TARGet Kids! Study of Children and Families

Birken, Catherine S | $149,799

Ontario Hospital for Sick Children 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

The COVID‑19 pandemic is having an unprecedented negative impact on the health and well-being of Canadian children and families. As Canada enters the recovery stage, research is needed to understand and monitor the ongoing impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on multiple domains of children’s health and well-being. We propose to use the TARGetKids! longitudinal cohort study of Children and Families, with data already collected pre-pandemic and since April 2020 to understand the impact of the COVID‑19 public health policies (lockdowns and school closures by dates, and adherence to six public health measures) on the health behaviours (physical activity, screen time, outdoor time, sleep, and eating behaviours), growth (body mass index), school outcomes (academic performance and school readiness), and mental health over time in young children aged 0-12 years in the Greater Toronto Area. We also plan to understand the roles parental stress and socio-demographic factors play in these relationships. With repeated data collected before the pandemic and during the first 1.5 years of the pandemic and detailed socio-demographic data collected from a diverse population, we plan to continue to collect repeated data on multiple domains of child health over the next year from children and parents to evaluate the long-term effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic on Canadian children and their families. Real-time data from a diverse children population are crucial to guide the planning and delivery of mitigation strategies to support the recovery from the COVID‑19 pandemic.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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