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Reviewing the evidence on prenatal opioid exposure to inform child development policy and practice

Camden A, Harris M, den Otter-Moore S, Campbell DM, Guttmann A. Healthc Q. 2021; 24(3):7-12. Epub 2021 Oct 1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.12927/hcq.2021.26626


Prenatal opioid use is increasingly common and can have adverse impacts on maternal and child health. In Ontario, there are no clear guidelines or universal programs to support the healthy development of children with prenatal opioid exposure. We present the epidemiology of prenatal opioid exposure in Ontario, summarize research examining child health outcomes with a focus on child development, review emerging guidelines for child health and developmental surveillance and highlight promising programs. We emphasize the need to strengthen current Canadian recommendations for routine enhanced developmental and vision screening and ensure funding for evidence-based integrated maternal/child services.

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