COF-COF Journal Fluoridation & Fluoride, January 2015
Clear Water Legacy
On December 3, 2011, Mr. Neil Johnston, a faculty member in McMaster University’s department of medicine, shared his thoughts about early childhood development in his Hamilton Spectator published article, ‘A Champion for Each Pregnant Woman’.
Mr. Johnston is not new to the study of the human condition. As a skilled epidemiologist, he was a valued contributor to the Hamilton Spectator’s award-winning ‘Code Red’ and ‘BORN’ projects.
‘Code Red’ established that poverty and poor health are intrinsically linked. ‘BORN’ examined the determinants of health among mothers and babies across the province.
He wrote, “There is no magic formula that will guarantee to every child a life with no wants and perfect health, but it is in the interest of all of us to provide every child born in Ontario with the best possible chance of lifetime health and the ability to learn. It is also natural justice.”
Mr. Johnston then listed the sensible precautions that should be taken to lessen the chances of poor birth outcomes that can include compromised early childhood development: “Effective prenatal care including good maternal nutrition, avoidance of stress and fetal exposure to harmful substances, provision of effective medical and nursing care, along with a well-managed birth, are more likely than not to improve the chances that healthy children will be born.”
As he eloquently noted, it is “natural justice’ that children be offered the best chance for a lifetime of health.
The City of Hamilton, which is home to McMaster University, is on board. The corporate mission statement calls for Hamilton to become one of the best places in Canada to raise a child. Eliminating threats to early childhood development would be a very good place to start.