Pediatrician explains how to safely play on playgrounds during pandemic

Pediatrician says parents have lots of questions
Posted at 7:32 AM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 07:32:18-04

Melissa Rosenbaum, a mom, said to each their own when it comes to making decisions for their children about what is safe and what isn’t.

“I really don’t feel comfortable letting my child play right now until this virus is a little bit in our shadows,” she said.

She isn’t letting her 2 year-old son play on public playgrounds quite yet.

“One mom says this, another mom says that, one doctor says this, another doctor says that,” she said. “It’s just my own personal preference. I don’t know when I will feel comfortable.”

Dr. Tara Harris, a pediatrician at West Boca Medical Center, said the questions parents have on this topic are plentiful.

“They can have fun,” said Dr. Harris. “It’s outside and they can be safe, but you definitely want to make sure that they are washing hands.”

But, she noted it doesn’t come without risks.

“Especially if someone who is COVID positive has been playing with the equipment recently, then there are ways the equipment can be contaminated,” she said.

Doctors recommend going at a time that is not crowded and bringing the hand sanitizer.

“You definitely have to be safe and careful if a playground is crowded, it’s not a place I would stay,” she said.

Many parents wonder about mask-wearing on playgrounds for children who are old enough.

“It depends on how many kids are there, when you are not in your home you should be wearing a mask,” said Dr. Harris. “Anyone else who is able to keep on a mask should wear a mask.”

Ultimately, it comes down to using your best judgment and following the golden rule of parenting these days.

“First thing is first,” said Dr. Harris. “If your kid is sick, even if you think it is a common cold, you are unsure if it is a cold, maybe it’s allergies, maybe it’s not, you really should stay at home.”