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Red Flags Guide

Red Flags is a quick reference tool to assist early years and health care professionals in knowing when and where to refer children from birth to the age of six years for whom there are potential health, growth and development concerns. Red Flags will assist professionals in identifying when children could be at risk of not meeting their expected health outcomes or developmental milestones. It also includes other areas that may impact child health, growth and development due to the dynamics of parent-child interaction, such as maternal mental illness and abuse.

Purpose of the Guide

To promote the early identification of children who may be in need of additional resources to meet their developmental milestones and expected health outcomes.

Goal of the Guide

To ensure that all children in York Region are able to achieve their optimal developmental and health potential.

The guide allows early years professionals to:

  • Identify when a child could be at risk of not meeting his or her expected health outcomes or developmental milestones
  • Review and better understand the domains that are traditionally outside their own area of expertise
  • Better understand when and where to make referrals for further investigation by the appropriate discipline

Get the Guide

View the most recent version of the York Region Red Flags Guide online. The guide can be downloaded and printed free of charge. 

The guide is now also available in flipbook format for online viewing.

If you are a health care or early years professional and have questions about the 2018 Red Flags guide, please contact for more information.


We would like to acknowledge Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for the creation of the original Red Flags — Let’s Grow With Your Child, in 2003. The York Region Red Flags guide is made possible through the joint efforts of community partners and York Region Public Health. We would like to thank all of our community partners for their contributions to this edition of Red Flags. The name of each contributor and their associated organization/agency is listed at the end of each domain.

Related Resources


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