Monday, May 30, 2016

ICU2 - Infant Care Under Two Program

Poverty in Alberta has increased at an alarming rate and this has been accelerated by the volatility of our economy. The biggest effect a society faces in the midst of such economic volatility is infant poverty.  Both economic and moral, the effects are immediate and long term. Healthy infant brain development is essential to addressing poverty, with nutrition, sleep and attachment being the most important contributing factors. Every infant's first two years should include access to the resources required to build a meaningful and fulfilling life. Studies repeatedly show those who do not - have an increased likelihood of addiction, lower graduation levels, a greater chance of incarceration, less chance of completing post-secondary education and the crossover of intergenerational poverty becomes a very real possibility as a result.

Some quick facts:
  • During the first three years of a child's life, the brain develops 700 neural connections per second
  • 60% of an infant's energy intake is used for brain growth 
  • By age 2, the brain stricture has the overall appearance of an adult brain
  • Infants spend twice as much time in REM sleep than adults
  • That fastest rate of brain development in a human life happens during infancy

As Canadians, Albertans and Calgarians we have long been a caring people with a history of philanthropy second to none. We simply do not turn a blind eye to those in need and this is where Neighbourlink's Infant Care Under two Program (ICU2) comes into play.  The ICU2 program vision is to advance infant health, specifically brain development, in the children of Calgary and all Alberta through education, nutrition and sleep supports.  A program based on science and need, delivered by professionals and carried out through collaboration and care, Neighbourlink’s ICU2 Program is important, relevant and needed. For a brief but detailed look at the program, its research and development, collaborative efforts and goals, simply CLICK HERE. It is a program that deserves everyone's attention. 

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