Outdoor Play During a Pandemic: Is It Safe?
There’s no doubt about it: the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on every child’s playtime. Outdoor playtime is, after all, an essential part of every child’s life. With lockdowns and distancing in effect, is there a way to let our children run free without putting them at risk?
The answer is yes! Your child can still enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, but you’ll need to take some extra precautions. Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind when taking your little ones out for a fun playday.
Bring an extra face mask
It is always wise to take extra precaution.1 Have your children wear a mask when heading out, especially when they are exposed to the outside world. Unfortunately, our little ones are great at attracting germs! So, in times like these, carrying an extra mask for them is a good idea.
Another option is to create DIY cloth masks for the whole family, in case you’re running low on disposable masks at home.
Keep your child’s hands clean
Children may play uncontrollably, touching every surface they get their hands on. It’s best to carry disinfectants such as wet wipes, hand sanitizers and alcohols that are gentle on baby’s skin.
Don’t forget to remind your little ones to avoid touching their face and picking their noses!
Don’t share personal items
Bring your child’s own water bottle, towel, toys and other personal items to avoid unwanted contact from other people2. Make it a habit to disinfect and sanitize all items after going out to minimize the spread of germs within the family.
Practice social distancing
Teaching your child social distancing is crucial to keeping them safe! It is recommended to stay at least 6 feet or 2 meters from other people3.
Playdates are also not advisable during this time. It’s more advisable to let them play in an open space instead! This way, they can maintain proper distance and still enjoy their time outside.
Avoid the playground
Playgrounds are a high risk space4.
COVID-19 can stay on surfaces. It is not certain for how long, but some studies reported that it can live for a few hours or up to several days depending on the type of surface, temperature of the environment5. Playgrounds are highly discouraged at this time.
After outdoor play, take a bath as soon as you head home and sanitize all items you’ve used. You can still allow your child outside, but always be well-prepared. Remember to practice proper safety precautions indoors or outdoors to keep your little one safe and healthy!
For more information about COVID-19, you may visit www.covid-19facts.com.
- Republic of the Philippines Philippine News Agency. 2 April 2020. Use of face masks now required in all areas under ECQ.
- COVID-19 Facts. 12 March 2020. Do reusable water bottles spread the virus?
- Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. 4 April 2020. Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation
- Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. 10 April 2020. Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19 When Visiting Parks and Recreational Facilities
- Word Health Organization. 8 April 2020. Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)