With states reopening and Stay At Home regulations easing, we are beginning to return to a “new normal.” Now that warmer days are upon us, we are finally able to get out of our houses to enjoy the weather. But families are left wondering what they can do safely in this summer of COVID-19.
In addition to usual summer safety precautions, we now have to think about the possibility of COVID-19 too. We can enjoy the outdoors even in the pandemic if we take sensible precautions.
Practicing summer safety doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. There are plenty of activities for the whole family to safely stay active. Here are suggestions to kick-start summer and tips for enjoying it safely.
Ride bikes. Explore the great outdoors on wheels! Practice bicycle safety, including wearing a properly-fitting helmet (it’s the law!) and following all traffic rules as if you were driving a car. These guidelines also apply to skating or skateboarding.
Visit a local park. Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for visiting parks and recreational facilities, including staying close to home. Wear sunscreen and check for ticks.
Learn something new. Ask your children if they would like to help plant flowers or vegetables in the yard, or cook dinner with you. This may spark new curiosities!
Virtual summer camp. Many organizations are offering free or low cost summer camp options virtually so kids can continue to discover their interests.
Staycation. Transform your backyard for the perfect family staycation. From water slides to trampolines to barbecue grilling, you’ll have a park’s worth of activities at your fingertips. Set up camp in your yard for an overnight adventure!
Virtual hangouts. Virtual play dates or online game nights keeps kids connected with friends.
Avoid crowds. Avoid large group gatherings and crowded places especially if you live with at-risk individuals.
Socially Distance. Stay at least six feet away from others. Masks are required in many public areas and outside when not able to social distance.
Follow hand hygiene. Wash hands for 20 seconds and frequently sanitize high-touch surfaces.
Monitor kids closely. Kids are generally less affected by COVID-19, but can still contract the disease, remain asymptomatic and spread it to vulnerable individuals. There are some rare but serious complications that can occur in children if they do acquire the infection. Keep an eye on your children to ensure they are practicing social distancing and hand hygiene.
Dr. Marc Cerrone is a pediatrician and the Director of Pediatrics for Day Kimball Medical Group. To learn more about pediatric services at Day Kimball Healthcare, visit www.daykimball.org/primarycare.