UW-Health Health and Sports Distinguished Psychologist Dr. Shilagh Mirgain suggests creating consistency this summer to help children find healthy ways to manage stress. Outdoor play is among strategies she suggests as children return to more predictable summertime patterns. Maintaining COVID-19 precautions while outside remains an important part of healthy recreation, she said.
“There is little transmission of COVID-19 outside, but find places to be safe and away from crowds,” Mirgain said. “If you are hiking, make sure you keep a safe distance while passing people. Go for a picnic in the park, and wash your hands when you come back inside.”
While outside, Mirgain said, “practice good hygiene and be careful what you touch. Use hand sanitizer. Kids have a hard time with social distancing so it is good to monitor their behavior or keep them with other family members.”
Information supplied by the CDC notes: “Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy.”
While playgrounds in the city of Milton are open to the public, information posted on the city’s Facebook Page warns that the equipment is not sanitized and is available for use “at your own risk.”
CDC guidelines include use of public playground equipment on its list of “don’ts,” citing a potential for gatherings of more than 10, an inability to keep equipment disinfected, and an increased risk of spreading disease when children touch the equipment and then their faces.
Recommended CDC guidelines for visiting area parks and recreational facilities include:
• Visiting parks that are close to home.
• Making preparations by bringing what you need.
• Practicing social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others.
• Staying safe in swimming pools by keeping space between yourself and others.
CDC recommended “Don’ts” include:
• Visiting parks when you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19.
• Visiting crowded parks.
• Using playgrounds.
• Participating in organized sports or activities.