The Portal brings together a broad selection of resources from all six of the National Collaborating Centres (NCCs). Search for resources by clicking on NCC, Type, Topic and Core Competency.
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Splash parks, also known as splash pads, spray parks, or wet decks, have gained in popularity over the last decade. These interactive parks are artificially created depressions or basins into which water is sprayed, splashed or poured onto visitors; water is not permitted to accumulate, but instead drains immediately out of the play area. Splash parks may take one of two basic designs, which influences the associated public health risks. Non-recirculating or flow-through parks discharge the water directly to waste and present a relatively low risk to their users as the design is based on using fresh potable water. In contrast, recirculating parks collect water in an underground tank, apply some form of water treatment, and re-use the water again. This presents an increased risk of contamination and disease transmission that can be mitigated through proper design and operation.
The objective of this document is to identify risks to public health posed by splash parks, the factors that contribute to this risk, outline practices that can mitigate these risks, and summarize the existing regulatory environment for these facilities. It focuses on epidemiological risks rather than physical hazards such as slip and fall injuries, heat stroke, and foot lacerations.
Floatation refers to a meditative activity in which users float in a high-density Epsom salt solution in a dark, quiet environment. Because float tanks are distinct from swimming pools and other recreational water, questions have been raised regarding the need for and efficacy of various disinfection methods. Although direct evidence is lacking, pathogen kill assays and field studies from recreational water suggest the need for caution regarding H2O2+UV as a disinfection method. Float tanks do not appear to be risky in and of themselves; further research on floatation tanks under normal and worst-case operating conditions will help to inform best practices.Read More
Closing schools seems like a logical approach to managing community outbreaks of influenza. First, school-aged children are among the age groups more susceptible to influenza infection. Second, they tend to shed more of the virus into their environments, increasing the risk of exposure for those around them. Third, they live, learn, and play in close contact with many others – classmates, friends, teachers, family members, and caregivers. As a result, limiting contact among school-aged children should, in theory, reduce the spread and lessen the impact of pandemic or seasonal influenza, both among children and in the broader community. In practice, however, the effectiveness of school closures for managing outbreaks or severe outcomes related to influenza is unclear. Research on school closures has sometimes lacked rigour, often led to contradictory findings, or been insufficient to answer some of the more important questions.Read More
The Settings Approach in Public Health: Thinking about Schools in Infectious Disease Prevention and Control
The purpose of this Purple Paper is to consider the settings approach to health promotion in schools, specifically with respect to infectious disease, and to stimulate considerations for the development of a framework to further advance partnerships and collaboration between public health and the education sector in Canada. It is also intended to provide a context for considerations and reviews of more specific policy options for prevention and control of infectious diseases in schools as well as in many other settings.Read More