(AscendHealthy.com) – With restrictions easing in many states, a lot of people are itching to get back to old activities. The National Park Service reports that many state parks are opening back up, and according to The New York Times, some playgrounds are following suit. Tempted to plan a day at the park? Protect yourself and your loved ones by insisting on strict safety measures.
Kids can’t stay cooped up forever, but the pandemic continues to rage on. Find a safe balance when you take them to the park by going when few other people are there, drilling in vital safety rules, requiring masks on all children 2 years and older, and making good use of hand sanitizer. See the details below for advice that could help protect your kids while they’re at the park.
Here’s How to Keep Kids Safe at the Park During a Pandemic.
Go When It’s Not Crowded
Timing is everything, especially during a pandemic. Scope out the park or playground to determine when other children are least likely to be there. If you do go, only to find more people there than you’d like, don’t hesitate to be the bad guy and reschedule. Outdoor areas are safer than indoor ones, according to the CDC, but no public place is safe — especially if it’s crowded with little people who may need constant reminders to keep their germs to themselves.
Review Safety Rules
Researchers believe COVID-19 moves between people via respiratory droplets in the air, which makes masks and physical distance important to halting transmission. No one really knows how often items frequently touched by other people, such as playground equipment, transmit the virus, but they do know traces of it can be present — even if no one else is visibly there.
Findings vary, but the latest reports show SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can remain on numerous types of surfaces for days. Err on the side of caution and assume equipment could be contaminated. Make sure kids have gone over the safety rules:
- Don’t touch your face/mask.
- Don’t play near other children outside your immediate bubble.
- Wash or sanitize hands after using equipment other children could have touched.
Consider cleaning high-touch plastic and metal equipment before your kids begin playing, recommends the CDC. Also, remember it’s just as important that parents and caretakers practice effective distancing, so keep your mask on and steer clear of groups.
Playtime at the park might not be as care-free as it used to be, but we won’t need these precautions forever. Stay safe, keeping good hand hygiene and common COVID sense at the forefront. You can’t eliminate the risks, but you can minimize them when you and your family do decide to venture out.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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