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Family Doctor-Approved Tips to Help Children Experiencing Respiratory Illness

November 30, 2022

Ontario’s family doctors continue to report high volumes in patients, especially children, experiencing respiratory infections, including common cold viruses, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), as well as COVID-19.

In an effort to support parents and caregivers, the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) has worked with family doctors to create a resource with information on caring for children with respiratory symptoms and to help parents and caregivers decide when to seek medical care.

Family Doctor Tips on Caring for Children with Respiratory Symptoms is now available in multiple languages including French, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Hindi, Punjabi, Farsi, Tamil, Portuguese, Arabic, Urdu, Italian and Spanish.

The tip sheet shares important information including:

  • Tips to stay healthy and prevent illness
  • Caring for sick children at home
  • When to call your family doctor
  • When to access emergency care

In response to this recent surge in respiratory infections, many family doctors have added evening and weekend clinics, are staffing provincial Cough, Cold and COVID-19 assessment centres and doing shifts in hospitals and emergency departments. One family doctor recently reported receiving 6,000 calls in and out of his clinic of 19 doctors over a 12-hour period.

“It is clear that Ontario’s entire health system continues to be under immense strain, and this includes family medicine,” said Dr. Mekalai Kumanan, President, OCFP. “Family doctors are doing everything they can to support Ontarians right now. We thank them for their continued dedication to patients during this challenging time.”

This surge in respiratory illness is coming at a time when family doctors are already struggling with a backlog in care and managing many more complex cases following more than two years of the pandemic. Ontario is also facing a shortage – 1.8 million Ontarians do not have a family doctor and that number is forecasted to rise to 3 million by 2025.

Other ways to access care:

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About the Ontario College of Family Physicians

The OCFP represents more than 15,000 family doctors who support Ontarians in both urban and rural communities in our province. Our members have direct insight into the unique healthcare needs of Ontario’s varying populations. With their guidance, and together with our family physician members, the OCFP has developed three overarching solutions for Ontario parties to implement post-election that will increase access to care for more Ontarians.

Media Contact

Jay Scull
Manager, Communications, OCFP

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