Before 2020, parents never would have questioned the safety of taking their kid to a park, but COVID-19 has left people with more questions and uncertainty than ever. After months of quarantine and adjusting to the new normal way of life, families are (understandably) starting to go a little stir crazy. Visiting a park is a great way to get out of the house without spending any money, but is it really safe?
Is it Safe to Go to a Park?
Going to a park is perfectly safe as long as it’s done so correctly. Getting you and your children out of the house is essential to your families’ physical health and mental health. People aren’t meant to sit inside all day for months at a time, and it will start to take a toll on adults and children alike. Your family will likely have a newfound appreciation for something as simple as a day at the park when so many activities that you used to enjoy are no longer possible.
The CDC has released some guidelines for families to follow when they visit the park. Try to visit a park that’s close to you. Visiting a park in another town or county puts you at an increased risk of either being exposed to COVID-19 or exposing the people in that area to covid-19. By staying close to home, you’re not increasing or decreasing your risk of exposure any more than you do by taking a trip to the store.
While kids at the park normally run and play together, you should limit the playing to only those who live in your house. Keep at least a 6-foot distance from other people at the park and encourage your children to do the same. If 6-foot social distancing isn’t possible, each member of your family will need to wear a mask. Avoid touching your face during your trip to the park and not sharing any items or toys with other families. When you get home, have each family member wash their hands thoroughly and wash the used face masks.
If you or anyone in your home is experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms, do not visit a park. Instead, go to a nearby urgent care center and get tested for COVID-19. One fun day is not worth exposing your community to the virus, so wait for a negative test result before going out again!