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Summer and COVID-19: Keeping Kids Safe While Getting Outside

August 11, 2020 • Our Blog • General Health
It’s not really summer without some fun in the sun. Here’s how to enjoy summer activities while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 spread. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present a grave public health risk nationwide, playgrounds, parks, pools, summer camps, and other beloved summertime activities may look a little different this year. Fortunately, it’s still possible to enjoy some of your child’s favorite outdoor activities while staying safe from the novel coronavirus. A strong scientific consensus has emerged around the fact that outdoor activities tend to be safer than indoor activities, and there’s currently little evidence to suggest that the novel coronavirus can be spread through water. That’s good news for many summertime activities, but it doesn’t mean that they’re completely risk-free. Here’s how you and your children can stay safe:

Playgrounds and Parks

Generally speaking, parks and playgrounds should be safe, as surfaces are no longer considered a primary transmission risk. However, social distancing rules still apply when outside at a park, and, when it comes to touching surfaces, it’s better to be safe than sorry. For these reasons, the CDC recommends maintaining a wide berth between your family and others, avoiding more crowded parks or playgrounds and using hand sanitizer or washing hands before and after playing. A mask or other face covering is also a good idea as long as your child is above the age of two.

Beaches

Many communities across the United States are beginning to reopen beaches, and families are understandably eager to get out into the sand, salt, and sun this summer. Fortunately, beaches — like other outdoor spaces — tend to be safe as long as social distancing behaviors are observed. That means beachgoers should not interact with other beachgoers from different households unless a distance of at least six feet is maintained. Further, food, toys, and supplies should not be shared among people who don’t live together, and face coverings should be worn when others are near.

Pools

Though pools are similar to beaches in many ways, they present slightly higher risks because their confined areas make it more difficult to maintain distance between groups. If your family is itching for a pool day, try to situate your chairs far from other groups and ensure your children stay far away from others while playing in the pool. As in other situations, wear a face covering whenever feasible.

Summer Camps

Summer camp is a little more complicated than other popular summer activities, as camp typically involves close intermingling among children from separate households. With some parents back in the office after months of juggling remote work and full-time schooling, summer camp could offer a welcome reprieve, but the traditional camp experience isn’t likely to be a safe option this year. Some camps, however, have taken significant steps to provide a safe experience, including implementing daily health screenings and breaking children into small groups that do not interact with each other. If your family is interested in summer camp for 2020, be sure to look for a camp that has taken these kinds of precautions.

A Partner in Your Child’s Health for Every Season

If you have any questions about keeping your child safe this summer, feel free to reach out to Kids’ Health. We’re dedicated to nurturing the whole child, physically, emotionally, and academically, and we understand that summer activities are important for your child’s mental well-being and overall health. Contact us today to learn more....