With the opening of playgrounds during a pandemic, it’s understandable that most parents worry about the risk of exposure as much as they would love to take their children outside for a much-needed breather. Luckily, outdoor areas are much safer than indoor spaces, and commercial playground equipment and their surrounding areas have yet to be identified as potential transmission sources.
If you’re planning to take your children out to play with outdoor playground equipment, read below some of the general hygiene and safety tips you would need.
Do some research
Before going to a playground, do proper research into their safety measures. Ascertain which restrictions and requirements they have for visitors and whether they strive to encourage hygienic practices on their outdoor playground equipment.
By now, wearing a mask should be second nature, and remember to take along your sanitizer. Taking your children to play on commercial playground equipment typically exposed to the virus is a considerable risk. Assuming that public spaces are being sanitized is a bold move; so, it’s better to take your disinfectant wipes to clean surfaces such as swings, benches, or tables.
Quiet Times, Quiet Spaces
To avoid large crowds, it is best you go early in the morning or late in the afternoon on weekdays. Try to watch the activities of your chosen playground for a few days to determine when the quietest time will be to go. Seek out playgrounds that don’t usually attract many visitors or choose a giant playground with more significant distances between equipment.
Communication is Key
Talk to your children about your planned visit to the playground. Explain to them that you’ll be leaving early in the day if it gets too crowded, and remind them that once they come in contact with outdoor playground equipment, they should refrain from touching their faces, having physical contact with other children, and sharing toys, water bottles, or snacks.
Take Regular Breaks
While at the playground, call your children for regular breaks. Use this time to rehydrate, sanitize their hands, and make sure that they remember how to keep safe while playing with other children. This is also an excellent reason to keep their water and snacks with you, eliminating any sharing opportunities.
Lead by Example
Just because you’re visiting a playground, it doesn’t mean that the children playing are more at risk than you. The adults supervising should be just as careful. Show your children how to be safe by being a good example. Wear your mask, sanitize regularly, and avoid being in contact with the other parents.
Although you might come across other playground visitors who don’t care about following any safety measures, remember to be patient while being there. Other parents who decide to visit playgrounds probably have the same worries as you and are all doing their best to keep safe.
Playing is considered a big part of being a child. Although it isn’t easy to provide your child with the necessary outdoor playground equipment and unlimited spaces to play during a pandemic, the effort is worth seeing the happiness on their faces and hearing the joy in their laughs. With proper planning and preparation, you’ll be able to squeeze in a playground visit to help them feel less isolated.