In these uncertain times, it can be hard to know where to turn. It can be difficult to know who is open and what services are available. This can be tough on parents and their children too. As your local family dentist in Fort Collins, we want you to know that we are here for you, and that we can help.
Our office will not be open during its usual hours, but we will be available for any emergencies that may arise. You can reach us as you normally would. We are subject to all of the guidance issued by Larimer County and the State of Colorado under the current lockdown, which means we cannot stay open during normal business hours as we are not considered essential workers. If you have a dental emergency, please reach out to us. We will do everything we can to accommodate you.
We realize that such a shift in routine can be especially hard on little ones. Here are some thoughts on talking to children about the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing restrictions:
Stay calm and reassuring for them
Children will react as much to how you deliver information as they will to what that information is. Don’t forget that they will likely pick up cues from the conversations you have with others as well as with them.
Be available to listen and to talk
Make time to talk with kids specifically, and make sure they know they can come to you with any questions they may have.
Watch your language
Avoid using language that can confer blame on others and increase social stigmas.
Viruses don’t discriminate based on ethnicity or race. Avoid making any assumptions about who might have COVID-19, especially on the basis of race or ethnicity.
Attend to what your children see or hear on TV, radio, and online
It’s especially tough to reduce screen time right now, but you can reduce or simply prohibit anything that is related to COVID-19. Too much exposure to a single topic can lead to anxiety.
Give honest, accurate information
Tailor the information your child receives to their age and developmental level.
Discuss with them how some stories about the pandemic on the news media may not be true or based on rumors or other misinformation. Let them know that when it comes to this subject they can always turn to you for guidance.
Teach children how to reduce the spread of germs with everyday actions
Remind children to avoid sick people or people who exhibit symptoms of being sick, like coughing or sneezing.
Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue away immediately.
Talk about any new actions that may be taken at school, like increased handwashing or cancellation of certain events or activities.
Get them into the habit of washing their hands regularly.
Teach them to wash for 20 seconds using soap and water, especially after they blow their nose, use the restroom, and before eating or preparing food.
Teach them how to safely use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, and supervise them to ensure they do not ingest hand sanitizer.
Many of these guidelines and more are available on the CDC website’s pages about talking with children.
We know that this can be a difficult, challenging time for you and your family, and your local family dentist in Fort Collins is happy to do anything we can to help. Please feel free to reach out using the contact form on our website or by giving us a call. We always enjoy hearing from you, and if we can help in any way, we will.