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How do we plan our life for the next few months?
Our family is having the same conversation that many of you are having right now. How do we decide who we can see, when we can travel, what should we do about school, what about grandparents….?
Before diving into this overwhelming series of questions, I would invite you to find a moment to read this when the kids are finally asleep and you have a moment to quiet your strategic mind just a bit. While I will try to tackle some of the specific questions in what follows, at the end of the day, you will have to check in with something less strategic and more intuitive. Something less based on what your brain is telling you that you should do or have to do and more based on what your heart or your gut is telling you is the right thing to do. Something less related to short sighted wants and more related to a patient, longer term view of what is best for you and your family as well as your community. I sometimes find that when I really do let go of my to do list and all the plans I have, and actually listen to my heart’s intuition, it tells me something I didn’t want to hear but eventually am glad that I did.
OK, I just felt the need to take a deep breath.
Some questions to start with.
In some ways, everything is falling apart for everyone right now. There is a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, civil and political unrest and societal reckoning with centuries of systemic racism. All this on top of the turmoil already present in the world before 2020 arrived.
The first question must be, “How much is my own life in a state of crisis right now?”.
If the answer is that you and your family are in a major personal crisis right now, your first priority must be basic survival. That crisis may be physical or mental health related, job loss, housing or food insecurity or any number of other obstacles. If you find yourself in this situation:
You may have no choice but to seek out childcare. If you can secure a daycare situation that you are comfortable with, that may be the best option. The state of Colorado has set guidelines for daycare providers that you can read through and ask your daycare about.
If daycare is not an option, and a grandparent or other relative is able to provide childcare, this may be necessary. If you are considering the risk for a possible caretaker, the state issued a helpful decision tree to consider when weighing that choice. If that caretaker is high risk, you and that grandparent will have to sit with that and ultimately follow your hearts to make that decision
School: Many school districts are moving toward an option for full-time in-person schooling. This may be the only viable option for you and your family. This may also be the best option for your child depending on their optimal learning style. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the return to in-person learning with steps taken to decrease the spread of COVID-19 in the school setting and the need for school districts to adapt to changing local conditions.
Know that you can always reach out to your provider at HIP and consider making a telemedicine or in person appointment. We may be able to offer some helpful suggestions or just provide a caring ear to walk with you as you make those decisions.
If the answer to, “How much is my own life in a state of crisis right now?”, is not really much of a crisis at all, you may have the ability to make some different decisions.
Consider the risk of your plans. Colorado has issued some guidelines to help evaluate common activities and travel plans.
Be a part of the 65%: The Colorado Department of Public Health has put out projections based on the efficiency of our collective social distancing efforts. If we, as a community can reach the 60-65% efficiency, many lives could be saved by decreasing overall infection numbers and maintaining hospital and ICU capacity for new patients. Do you have the capacity to increase your social distancing efficiency as a family? How do you see your role in the community during this pandemic?
Hanging out with friends: Having a small cohort of friends or a “quaranTEAM” can really decrease the spread of COVID-19 and can make tracing easier if someone tests positive. Having a group of a few friends whose families are on the same page and are otherwise practicing good social distancing is ideal. Having that team hang out outside and wear masks when possible (not for kids under 2) is helpful. Creating a rule where they don’t share food or drinks (preferably they don’t hang out with food or drinks, especially for younger kids).
Summer camp: If you have the option for the camp to come to you, which some of them have offered that lowers the risk. Some camps are sending a counselor to a house with a group of a few kids. If you are considering a camp that hasn’t made major modifications to decrease the risk of spread, the better option may be to skip that camp this year.
Travel: The best option this summer is traveling by car somewhere that you can practice good social distancing (camping or renting a house where you can do the cooking). Airline travel with your family should really be carefully weighed, taking into consideration any higher risk immediate family members or those that you might be visiting. Here again, your heart will have to guide you in the end.
Helping your kids find the beauty in the pause: This may be the summer and fall that you have almost nothing scheduled for your kids. How can you transform that sense of loss for all the things you had planned into an opportunity to find the beauty and wonder in the mundane of your home, your yard, your neighborhood park? Can this be an opportunity to awaken the imagination in yourself and your children?
School: Many school districts are moving toward an option for full-time in-person schooling or learning from home. The right choice for your family really depends on your child’s learning style. If you feel your student thrived with an in-home learning setup and that is their preferred option, that may be the best option for them this fall. If you are in a position to support that learning environment at home, that may be a reasonable option for your student and help the community by decreasing the numbers of students at school. If your student and family are at low health risk and would benefit from in-person instruction, that is a reasonable choice. Again, the AAP guidelines provide some framework for this.
Daycare: Is this confluence of moments an opportunity to reimagine how you have structured your family schedule? Is there a way to decrease your reliance on traditional daycare settings for your young child? With regulations around temperature checks and keeping sick children home, many families will be forced into a more flexible plan with their work. Would it be better for your family to proactively pull back from daycare for the near future? The answer for your family may be no, but it is worth asking the question with this new lens that the pandemic has created.
What about grandparents meeting their newborn grandchild. I’ll leave this one to this opinion piece written by a pediatrician. I think he gives sound advice on this question
These decisions are nuanced and individual. While it is important to gather data and opinions from people you trust, ultimately you will be forced to weigh options whose pros and cons are difficult to quantify. That is when your heart and intuition will have to come in as a parent and community member. The answer may be buried a bit beneath the layers of stress, but it is there, and I believe you will know it when you find it.
Know that your HIP family is here to support you.
With gratitude for all you’re doing to support your kids and your community,
SEPTEMBER 2017 Newsletter
Falling into Fall
As we head into the fall and winter months, it is important to remember that washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent getting sick. Normal soap and water are the best to use at home. Antibacterial soaps do not provide any additional benefit and have some downsides.
Welcome Dr. Natalie Penn
We will be making some changes to our hours heading into the Fall and Winter months. We will have some extended hours until 6pm with at least one doctor on each day of the week. Furthermore, triage will be able to take calls until 5:30pm each day of the week.
Our website now features a "Page your Doctor" button. This button will allow you to page our on call doctor after hours when you and your family are in need of urgent advice. The button appears at all times, but is only functional after hours.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR KIDS with Brittany Lark, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac
Happy New Year and Thank You!
As we begin 2017, we want to express our gratitude to you, the families and community, for your continued support of HIP during the many changes we came across in 2016.
As we grow and change, your patience and understanding has helped make the many transitions smoother for us at HIP. We know that as we continue to expand, we have to make adjustments in order to provide the care you and your families are used to receiving from HIP. It is a learning process for all of us, and we cannot express enough how thankful we are for your patience in dealing with these changes.
Stacey, our wonderful PA-C, is so thankful to our families for their patience and consideration while she was out with injuries sustained from a bicycle accident. She is back in our office, full time, and is more ready than ever to provide the care our families are used to receiving from her at HIP.
We hope 2017 is a happy and healthy year for all of you, and we are eager to still be a valuable resource for you and your family.
The HIP Team
- We have flu shots available for our patients, and are currently running Flu Clinics on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5-6pm. We also have Flu Clinics every other Saturday from 8-10 am. If you'd like to schedule a time for your child to come in, please call our front desk for assistance.
- We also have limited flu shot available for parents! Flu shots for parents are $35.00 each. If you'd like to schedule a flu shot for yourself, you can do so by calling our front desk for assistance.
Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets
- Recently, the FDA released a statement that they are taking Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets off the market. At this time, HIP does not recommend parents using these tablets for their children. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at any time.
It is with mixed emotions that we have a few departures to announce. In each case we are sad to lose a valued H.I.P team member but excited for what the next chapter is bringing for them.
Lyndsey Buderus (Front Office Manager): Lyndsey is a beloved founding member of H.I.P and the smiling and warm soul that many of you have encountered as you enter our office. She is fulfilling a dream of hers and will be starting physical therapy school in September in California. We could not be more proud of her! Her last day will be Wednesday August 24th....stop by to wish her well if you can. We take comfort in knowing that Denver will be getting an incredible physical therapist in a few years!! We are thrilled to have Lyndsey's sidekick Anna Gadzina taking over as our front office manager.
Dr. Sarah Pilarowski: Dr. Sarah has been an integral part of HIP for the past 2 1/2 years. She has an opportunity to relocate closer to home at Sapphire Pediatrics. We are grateful for all her contributions to HIP and for the great care that she has provided for her patients. We wish her and her wonderful family well!! Her last day at HIP will be Thursday October 20th. For patients who have seen Dr. Sarah and would like to transfer to one of our other HIP providers, we will have added availability starting in November to accommodate you. We are in the process of finding an integrative pediatrician to take her place soon.
Jessica Muniz, RN: Jessica finished up her time at HIP 2 weeks ago to take advantage of an opportunity to work from home and spend more time with her 2 year old son. She was a great asset to our practice, filling a variety of roles in the office. We wish her great success in her new venture!
We have some wonderful new additions to the practice to help fill the significant void left by these three. Thank you for your patience as we work through this transition.Coming soon.