Staying Safe and Healthy While Letting Your Kids Play 

May 27, 2020 by

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Warm weather is beckoning — and many people are cooped up indoors. COVID-19 has disrupted lives across America, and many children are growing restless with their confinement. 

Spending too much time indoors can hinder your child’s mental and physical development. However, during a pandemic, safety concerns prove paramount. Here’s how you can get your little ones some fresh air and exercise while keeping them — and yourself — safe and healthy. 

1. Find Less Crowded Areas and Times 

You know your neighborhood park will teem with children and their folks on Saturday afternoons. As much as you miss your neighbors, not everyone takes social distancing and hygiene measures seriously. Your utmost priority is to keep your little ones safe, as much as you want to catch up with the usual playground parent crew.

If you can only get out during crowded times, skip the playground entirely and head out to a state park for the afternoon. Many have acres of land, making it a breeze to maintain social distancing. Plus, you can throw in a mini-science lesson with the fun by learning about the native flora and fauna of your area. 

2. Maintain Safe Social Interaction 

Your kids want to see their old playmates, and you can probably relate. After all, wouldn’t you love to hug your best friend right now, too? Social interaction is critical for developing children. It gives them a chance to learn and make discoveries while sharing their knowledge with others. 

However, even as states begin to reopen, you should maintain social distancing. If you or your partner are tall, you can teach your kids to stay one mommy or daddy’s length away from others. Don’t let them climb on monkey bars or swings, as the virus can live on them for several days. You can modify no-touch games like frisbee golf or horse so that everyone uses their own equipment instead of sharing.  

3. Take Additional Hygiene Precautions 

Don’t put that hand sanitizer away yet. Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial during a pandemic, but what better time to teach correct practices to your little ones? Reinforce lessons such as how to wash your hands regularly, and always have kids clean up after coming indoors. Coach them on keeping their hands away from their face, and remind them that other germs besides the coronavirus can also cause illness. 

4. Have Them Wear a Mask 

What kind of children do you want to raise? Hopefully, you want your little ones to display concern and empathy for others, and now you have an ideal way to teach this lesson. Wearing a face mask doesn’t protect your kids from the coronavirus — but it does protect others, including those with immunodeficiencies. When your child coughs or sneezes, passersby can inhale disease-causing droplets. 

5. Get Creative at Home 

If you don’t feel safe taking your children in public at all, you’re not alone. You can still get your children some fresh air and exercise outdoors, even if you live in an urban apartment, though. If you have a backyard, you can make an obstacle course that gets their bodies moving and minds engaged. If you only have a small porch or balcony, use it for your homeschool gym class. You don’t need much space to do calisthenics or kiddie yoga. 

6. Try Indoor Activities When They Feel Sick 

Yes, states are reopening, but the coronavirus remains a severe threat. If your children develop symptoms of any illness, keep them safely indoors. This behavior protects both them and others. 

When they feel under-the-weather, they probably won’t have much energy to do a lot, anyway. Break out the coloring books or give them an allowance to use on downloading books or music on personal devices. Keep them separated from other family members, too, to avoid getting the whole crew sick. Designate one person to take them their meals and tend to their other needs. 

7. Keep Them Connected With Technology 

Mental health matters as much as physical, and the isolation of lockdown can harm developing psyches. While you can’t return your child to their previous level of interactions with others just yet, you can use technology to keep them connected. 

If you are friends with your child’s playmates parents, set up regular virtual playdates. Use software such as Zoom or Skype to let them see and talk to their friends. Many video games include a live chat feature, but make sure that you supervise the interactions. Predators can pose as other kids and trick your little one into giving out personal information, like their address or phone number. 

Let Your Kids Play While Keeping Them Safe 

People of all ages are weary of life under lockdown, so if your children seem unruly, don’t punish them for having cabin fever. Instead, get them active and outdoors the safe way with these tips. 

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