Evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on child health in Canada

February 17, 2022

A McMaster University team is leading Canada’s first comprehensive investigation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child health, with a team from the Children’s Health Policy Centre as Co-Principal Investigators.

Together, we are building on Statistics Canada’s uniquely-positioned 2019 Canadian Health Survey of Children and Youth — conducted just prior to the start of the pandemic. In re-interviewing this representative, population-based sample of 45,000 young people and their families, we will be able to measure the impact not only of COVID-19 but also of pandemic responses on mental health, physical health, learning and social inequities.

This project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Statistics Canada, with additional supports from Children’s Healthcare Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, McMaster University, BC MCFD and donors. Initial results are anticipated in 2023–2024.

Centre members are also providing supports for an associated study of the impact of the pandemic on Ontario children, funded by the province of Ontario. Results are anticipated in 2022. Beyond this, we contributed to a Royal Society of Canada volume outlining safe ways for children to return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.