Thoughtful Parenting: Keeping kids healthy and safe during pandemic | #parenting | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As a parent, you’ve probably thought about how to keep your kids safe and healthy even more than normal this past year.

Horizons Specialized Services’ Early Intervention program welcomes calls and emails from parents and caregivers who may have questions or concerns about their child’s development. Horizons’ Early Intervention program serves children ages birth to 3, and parents and caregivers do not need a doctor’s referral to contact us.

Michelle Hoza, child and family service coordinator; Kate Doyle, speech-language pathologist; and Jodi Glaisher, occupational therapist; are available to help you understand your child’s development, conduct an evaluation at no cost to you and consider options and resources for your child to thrive. Referrals to Horizons’ Early Intervention program have been down since the onset of the pandemic. Due to restrictions and changes in parents’ and children’s behaviors and routines, we know there have been fewer opportunities to interact, socialize, notice and discuss the nuances of your child’s development. When a child is among peers, it can be easier to observe and identify differences in development.

If you are wondering if your child is falling behind or within the range of age-appropriate, typical development, contact Michelle Hoza at Horizons at 970-871-8558 or mhoza@horizonsnwc.org for a confidential, compassionate conversation about your child’s social, emotional and/or physical development.

SafeCare Colorado, a Northwest Colorado Health program, offers free, voluntary parent support for families with children five and younger who need extra support in these areas. SafeCare helps parents and caregivers build on their existing skills of parent-child interactions, home safety and child health. These are especially important topics as children are spending more time at home, and there are simple things you can do.

1. Keep medicine up and away, out of children’s reach and sight. Kids are naturally curious and can easily get into things if they are within their reach.

2. Help your child understand the importance of washing their hands frequently with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs. Sprinkle a bit of glitter on your child’s hands and see how much is washed off with water alone, and then with soap and water.

3. You’ve probably spent a lot of time with your child this past year, but quality time has a special impact. Establish routine times, like bedtime, that are important to children.

Learn more at northwestcoloradohealth.org/safecare or call 970-415-2668.

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