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Caring for kids new to Canada

A guide for health professionals working with immigrant and refugee children and youth

Checklists for medical assessment

Before you start

  • These checklists are intended as a guide for family physicians and primary care paediatricians to assist with the initial medical assessment of immigrant and refugee children. They have been developed as a tool to accompany the more detailed information about medical assessment and screening, including recommendations for anticipatory guidance, developmental and pyschosocial assessment, assessing and starting immunizations, and effective communication and trust.
  • These checklists are not all-inclusive. Every child is unique and the practitioner must continue to exercise judgement.
  • These checklists are not sufficient for international adoptees; refer to the pages on this site about international adoptees.
  • The three checklists are intended to be used sequentially, though you might not complete all of the suggested screening in each checklist in a single visit. The assessment may take several appointments.
  • These checklists are not organized by geographic region, because regional distinctions are not always relevant. Epidemiological data can change quickly and do not always follow political boundaries. Geographic information is included where where it may be useful and appropriate.
  • If the patient presents with an acute complaint the Signs & Symptoms page will help you identify specific diseases/conditions.


The source content for these checklists includes evidence-based guidelines from the Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health, as well as material on this website. Both the checklists and the source content have been peer reviewed. The CCIRH has also developed checklists for use with adult immigrant and refugee patients.