How to keep your kids safe on the playground

Guidance for playgrounds and child playdates

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Health officials predict we will see vaccines approved for ages 12 and up within the next few weeks, but it could still be months before vaccinations expand to younger children.

Officials with Children’s of Alabama said the most common COVID cases in children come from being exposed to the virus by their parents. They said the number one protection for kids is adults getting vaccinated themselves, but there are other safety measures you can also take.

Pediatrician Dr. Peily Soong said one of the best ways to keep kids safe this summer is having them play outside more than inside. He said COVID is almost twenty times less likely to spread outdoors.

Soong said it’s important kids on the playground continue to wear their masks. He said they can play with a large number of other children if they are also masked.

Soong said you shouldn’t let your kids play directly with unmasked children, but it’s OK if they are distanced from them and just passing each other on the playground.

“I would not worry about wiping down equipment, especially outdoor equipment,” Soong said. “The ultraviolet light from the sun does kill the COVID virus and we do know that the risk of spread of COVID through surfaces is very minimal.”

Dr. Soong said children don’t need to wear a mask outside if they are just on a walk with family members. They only need the mask when they will be around other kids or unvaccinated adults.

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