Alberta parents can call Health Link with questions about their child's development
A new service has been launched on Alberta's health advice hotline, offering parents information and guidance on their child's development and well-being.
Health Link is a 24/7 health information line available by dialing 811, run by Alberta Health Services. It links people to health-care professionals, including registered nurses, dietitians, dementia specialists and mental health and rehabilitation clinicians.
It is now offering a pediatric rehabilitation line that provides free advice and guidance from an occupational therapist, who can answer questions about developmental milestones.
Kira Ellis, program manager at Health Link, says parents and caregivers often worry if their children are developing on pace.
"We knew that we wanted to support parents and caregivers of children who have concerns about their child's development," Ellis said.
She added that in some parts of the province, there are limited resources for physiotherapists, speech language therapists or occupational therapists, and this is a way to connect parents with those resources.
"Every kid will develop at their own pace, but there are some milestones that can kind of flag to a professional that maybe that child might need some extra support," Ellis said.
"We hope that some people from communities that don't have easy access to care will use this new line to ask their questions, and we really are able to give some advice … and hopefully some reassurance to parents when they have these concerns."
The pediatric rehabilitation line also has information on local services and other rehabilitation resources.