RED FLAGS BERMUDA:
AT-A-GLANCE REFeRence GUIDE
Early Identification of Red Flags in Child Development: Birth to Age Six
HOW TO USE THIS RESOURCE
Find the area of interest or concern you wish to know more information about.
CLICK ON A BOX BELOW
On the topic page, find the age of the child you wish to know more information about.
NOTE: not all areas are age specific
Closest age without going over: If the child is between the age levels (e.g., 2 years, 2 mos.) check the lower age range for Red Flags (e.g., 2 years)
Read through the list and identify if the child is demonstrating any of the Red Flags at their age level. Click on any buttons or links for more information
Red Flags may be signs of delayed development. If you have concerns, contact a pediatrician family doctor, child and family services and other professionals referenced in the resource tables
RED FLAGS AT ANY STAGE
NOT ACHIEVING INDICATED DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES
STRONG PARENT CONCERNS
SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF SKILLS, LACK OF RESPONSE TO SOUND OR VISUAL STIMULI
POOR INTERACTION WITH ADULTS OR OTHER CHILDREN
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND LEFT SIDES OF BODY IN STRENGTH, MOVEMENT OR TONE
LOOSE AND FLOPPY MOVEMENTS (LOW TONE) OR STIFF AND TENSE (HIGH TONE
HOW TO TALK TO PARENTS/
CAREGIVERS ABOUT CONCERNS
Sharing sensitive news
One of the most challenging issues for a health care or early years professional working with young children can be relaying concerns about a child’s health or development to a parent or caregiver. When a potential concern is identified, either by observation or screening, the family should be notified so that positive next steps can be taken. In these circumstances, effective communication is essential. It can be very difficult to relay these concerns to parents and caregivers; however, for a child to reach his or her full developmental potential, it is important to have these conversations. If concerns are presented in a positive and caring manner, this will build trust between the professional and the family.
Sharing sensitive news can be challenging both for the family and the person delivering the news. Upon receiving this information about their child, the parent/caregiver may react with a range of emotions including shock, anger, disbelief, fear and sometimes relief at having their observations and questions about their child acknowledged.
Although there is no single way that works best there are some things to keep in mind when addressing concerns with a family. The following framework will provide some tips and encouragement for sharing concerns in a clear, informative, and supportive manner:
Prepare for a successful conversation
Know the facts
Plan to meet face to face
Meet in a private location
Allow plenty of time without interruptions
Share the information
Begin by sharing the child’s strengths and positive behaviours
Ask the parents/caregivers what they know about their child’s development
Remember and remind parents/caregivers that they know their child best
Share observations/concerns that have been noted about the child’s development
Highlight the expected developmental milestones for the child’s age
Show concern and compassion
Explain the consequences of not taking action such as the wait and see approach
Explain the range of possibilities for supporting the child such as referral, assessment, intervention, etc.
Plan for next steps
Thank parents/caregivers for their support
Provide available resources for further reading and information
Ensure that your concerns have been documented and that there is a plan for follow-up action
Empower the parents/caregivers by enlisting their support to plan a course of action regarding next steps for their child
Allow time for questions and concerns by the parents/caregivers
Provide parents/caregivers with available resources such as brochures or contact information
Presenting information in this manner lends credibility to the concerns identified.