For Parents

Who can participate?

Any healthy child between the ages of 0 and 5 years can participate in TARGet Kids! Children who are unable to participate are those with:

  • a known health condition causing significant problems with the child’s growth developmental
  • families or who are not able to communicate in English

What to expect?

Eligible participants will receive a letter from the TARGet Kids! team two weeks prior to their scheduled doctor’s appointment, outlining what it means to be a TARGet Kids! kid.

Upon arrival for your child’s check-up appointment you will meet the TARGet Kids! research assistant who will approach you to participate in the project. The research assistant will talk to you about the project, explain all the details of your child’s participation, and provide you with the consent form. You will be allowed as much time as you wish to go over the consent form and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Your child’s participation will consist of the following steps:

  1. You will receive a package of paper-based questionnaires appropriate for your child’s age. The longest questionnaire is 8 pages and it will take about 20 minutes to complete all the forms
  2. The research assistant will measure you and your child for height, weight, waist circumference and blood pressure (the latter will be measured only for the child)
  3. A small blood sample (2-3 teaspoons) will be collected from your child by an experienced pediatric phlebotomist or nurse.

We will be following your child on an annual basis at the time of your child’s annual check-up and will consist of the same 3 steps (questionnaires, measurements and blood sample collection). No additional visits will be required.
Your child’s blood work results will be faxed back to your child’s physician, who will contact you in the case of abnormal values with further recommendations.

What are the benefits to my child?

The potential benefits for your child participating in the TARGet! Kids study include:

  • Filling out the questionnaires such as the NutriSTEP can provide you with guidance about your child’s nutrition and how it may be improved for you and your child that may improve your whole family’s health.
  • Your child will have a complete blood profile done which is outside the standard of care for children. The results from the blood profile will inform your doctor of your child’s nutritional status. Depending on the results, the doctor may recommend changes in your child’s diet or lifestyle.
  • The results of TARGet Kids! research based on your child’s participation may help keep children healthy across Canada and the world.

How do I enroll my child?

To be enrolled in TARGet Kids! your child must be a patient of one of the 6 participating clinics in our study. New patients are accepted at St. Michael’s Hospital clinics predominantly.

What is informed consent?

Informed consent is allowing prospective participants to have all the information necessary about a project or study so they can make an informed decision to participate or not. Click here for information about informed consent.

All the information collected for TARGet Kids! is kept confidential. Any identifying information (names, birth dates, addresses) are kept separately from the forms and both are kept in locked filing cabinets in a locked office.

Policies and procedures regarding the conduct of research are governed by the Government of Canada Panel on Research Ethics