With schools closed and the COVID-19 pandemic keeping us all at home, outdoor playtime for the kids has never felt more necessary.
Spending time outdoors provides plenty of health benefits for children, including sun exposure for Vitamin D production, unstructured time to learn and grow, and an opportunity for active play and exercise. This last benefit offers parents a bit of relief, too — more energy spent outdoors means less of a struggle at bedtime.
Fortunately, the weather is warming up and it’s easy to get outside right now. However, with ongoing coronavirus concerns, and seasonal allergies in full effect, it’s important to take some precautions when doing so.
How to Limit Germs & Allergens During Outdoor Playtime
- Choose a safe outdoor environment. To help limit coronavirus transmission, carefully consider your outdoor playtime setting. You’ll want to choose an open air space close to home. Think parks, trails, and recreation areas (or, if you have a backyard, you can let the kids run around there). The key is to avoid crowds and to stay at least six feet from others at all times.
- Be smart about activities. For the time being, it’s best to avoid “high-touch surfaces”, such as playgrounds and sports equipment. These surfaces are difficult to clean and disinfect, and may be contaminated. Organized sports are also currently off-limits, since we should not be gathering with others from outside the home. We suggest taking nature walks or biking through the neighborhood. You can also try activities, such as gardening, playing with sidewalk chalk, or setting up a scavenger hunt.
- Practice good hygiene. Be sure that the whole family washes their hands immediately after coming inside from playing outdoors. Use soap and warm water, and wash for at least 20 seconds. Try singing the ABCs with your child during hand washing and compliment them for doing a really good job. Hand washing is essential in the fight against coronavirus. To limit seasonal allergy symptoms, make sure your child bathes from head to toe before heading to bed. This can help wash away any residual pollen or mold from outside. You can also prevent tracking allergens into the home by taking shoes off upon entering. The goal is to limit exposure to allergens as much as possible.
At PedsNow, we understand that it can be a challenging time for kids and parents alike. We hope these tips help you feel more comfortable heading outside with the family for some much needed stress relief.
If your little one is suffering from springtime allergies, know that we are here for you. Our friendly pediatric providers are available 7 days a week, on a walk-in basis. We can evaluate your child’s allergy symptoms and provide expert treatment and advice. Check in online now »