‘Every immigrant parent wants to do best, but what is best?’

June 25, 2017

By Lisa Quen, York Region |

A couple of weeks after Ayesha Singh and her husband Bikram arrived in Canada from India about a year ago, their young son Sumair developed a mild fever.

She gave him medicine prescribed that had been prescribed by pediatrician in India but the fever kept recurring every couple of hours.

It was the weekend and their new doctor in Canada was unavailable.

Not knowing where to turn, Singh was becoming more concerned.

“I didn’t know who to turn to for help as I didn’t know many people here. Back home, one has a support network of friends and family to turn to. I just needed to speak to an expert on what I could do to manage the situation till I could go see a doctor the next day,” Singh said.

“Knowing that it was not an emergency, I was not sure if I could take him to a hospital. But since I was hesitant to continuously repeat the medication, I searched on the Internet for any possible advice I could get to deal with the situation and I was lucky to find a medical advice service, otherwise I would be panicking. There are many such incidents new immigrants face due to lack of proper information and resources or support.”

Fortunately, Sumair, now 7, is doing well and thriving in his new home, as are his parents.

Singh shared her experiences as a newcomer parent at Markham’s the Price of Canada Carousel in downtown Markham June 22 at Parenting Expo 2017, Canada’s first-of-its-kind forum for immigrant parents and parents of various ethnic backgrounds.

The forum was organized by the Parent Connect, a platform offering newcomer parents a collaborative hub to access information and links to service providers.

Leaving their comfort zones in their homelands where it’s second nature to turn to family and friends to come to a new country where it’s difficult to navigate a new language and customs, is a challenge faced by thousands of immigrants every year, Parent Connect and expo founder Loretta Lam said.

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