Our Impact

Working with and for children, families and communities, our researchers are studying how best to help them achieve optimal health and well-being.

Holly, centre, is one of the babies in the study, seen here with her mom, at left, and researcher Jumana Samara.

Holly, centre, is one of the babies in the study, seen here with her mom, at left, and researcher Jumana Samara.

Don Molyneaux

Better Beginnings

University of Calgary researchers have shown probiotic supplements can help form a healthy microbiome in the gut of the tiniest infants who are born without a fully formed gut microbiome. The study found that a specific mix (five species) of probiotic supplement accelerated the maturation of the microbiome into a term-like state and reduced intestinal inflammation in extremely preterm infants.

“The findings show that a daily probiotic supplement containing the right type of microbes prompted a rapid transition of the gut microbiome to what is normally observed in healthy, breastfed infants born at term. This mature microbiome is more stable, more resilient and was linked to reduced inflammation in the babies’ gut.”

Dr. Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD

Dr. Derya Sargin, PhD

Dr. Derya Sargin, PhD

Riley Brandt

Pushing the Boundaries of Brain and Mental Health

When children face prolonged, chronic, or intensely stressful situations, they begin to show signs of more extreme behavioural changes in their personalities. Often referred to as toxic or traumatic stress, it most definitely provokes concern for the child’s health and well-being.

“The types of stress that can result in long-term health concerns would be those that expose the kids to physical, sexual, emotional abuse, violence, or neglect. And it’s especially the case if the stressors are ongoing.”

Dr. Derya Sargin, PhD


Surviving and Thriving

Dr. Fiona Schulte, PhD co-chaired a multidisciplinary international task force to develop a global recommendation for the surveillance of education and employment to support young cancer survivors so that they don’t fall behind their peers. The guidelines, published in Cancer, recommend all survivors receive regular screening for educational and employment outcomes, just like the regular physical screening they receive as cancer survivors.

Dr. Fiona Schulte, PhD

Dr. Fiona Schulte, PhD

From Vulnerable to Resilient

family of three
Dr. Stephen Freedman, MD

Dr. Stephen Freedman, MD

International study identifies risks for long COVID in children

Nearly six per cent of children who presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with COVID-19 reported symptoms of long COVID 90 days later, according to a study conducted in eight countries and published in JAMA Network Open. Initial hospitalization of 48 or more hours, four or more symptoms at the initial ED visit, and age 14 years or older were associated with long COVID. Dr. Stephen Freedman, MD, paediatric emergency medicine, was a principal investigator of the study.

Study shows majority of children under five are getting too much screen time

A large new University of Calgary study shows that most children five and younger are getting too much screen time. For UCalgary researcher Dr. Sheri Madigan, PhD, this is especially concerning because the data was all collected before the pandemic began. Since COVID, estimates are that screen time has at least doubled across the board.

Dr. Sheri Madigan, PhD

Dr. Sheri Madigan, PhD

ACH

Thank you

Our research is generously supported by community donations through the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation.