While the coronavirus has been shown to infect children at a significantly lower rate than older populations, that doesn’t mean kids aren’t at risk for getting sick or transmitting the infection to others around them. While summer lulls right along, many parents have been left scratching their heads, trying to figure out how to balance the traditional fun summer activities with staying hunkered down at home. So, just how can parents keep their children as healthy as possible during these unpredictable times?
Chances are, you’ve kept your children mostly at home since the springtime. With school on pause for the summer, the world of parenting has become that much harder, as parents wrestle with concerns about the safety of typical summer activities like vacations, visiting family, traveling, and play dates.
If your family is needing a break from being cooped up indoors this summer, there are a few precautions you can take to protect yourself and your children during your summer adventures.1. Social Distancing
One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is by social distancing. The CDC recommends staying at least 6 feet away (about 2 arm’s lengths) away from other people when you’re out and about. Teach your children the importance of avoiding crowds before you go out in public. If you have young children, have them hold your hand, push them in a stroller, or wear them in a carrier. If you go to the park or beach, be sure to pick a spot far away from others and set a blanket and some toys down to define a safe perimeter for your children to play within. If you’re out on a walk or hike, move to the other side of the street or pathway and let the other group pass before proceeding. Help your children learn to be aware and courteous of those around you.
Experts advise that outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, so encourage your children to spend time outside every day. Take a neighborhood walk, go play in the sand at the beach, or go run around at a local park (just steer clear of the play structures or other surfaces that multiple people touch!).
2. Protective Gear
Adults know the importance of wearing a mask - but many places are advising that even children (above age 2) wear a mask in public when safe distances from others cannot be maintained. Make sure to get a mask that is made to fit a child’s face properly, meaning their mouth and nose are covered. If you have an infant, keep the baby in the infant car seat or stroller, and cover with a light blanket, such as the KeaBabies Nursing Cover, to provide a breathable shield to keep germs away from your little one.
Note: Children under 2 years old are not advised to wear face coverings or masks as it may prevent them from breathing properly.
3. Plan Your Time
If you’re planning an outing with your children, be proactive in choosing what time of day to go to your destination. For instance, if your kids have been begging you for a trip to the beach, avoid the peak crowd times (usually between noon and 6pm) and opt to either go in the early morning or later in the evening. This can also be helpful for keeping your little one’s sensitive skin safe from the sun’s powerful rays! If you’re going on a hike, avoid weekends and holidays, and opt for a weekday morning instead. If your children want to have a picnic at the park, consider doing a picnic brunch or picnic dinner instead of at lunchtime when most people will be at the park.
4. Practice Good Hygiene
Kids are never too young to learn good hand washing hygiene! Make handwashing a family activity. Proper handwashing includes scrubbing with soap for at least 20 seconds - which is the perfect opportunity to sing a quick song like the alphabet song or “Happy Birthday To You.” Children should wash their hands every time they come in the house after playing outside, after using the bathroom, and before eating. When you’re in a public space with your children, encourage them to touch as few items as possible. Be sure to pack some safe hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes in the diaper bag.
If your kids are begging to go outside, there are ways to do so safely with some careful planning! There are many wonderful ways to enjoy family time together this summer. Pack your protective gear, get outdoors, and create some great memories together!
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
|I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.|