Patios are nice and all, but are hardly top of mind for young Canadians. Many kids have been counting down the days until playgrounds reopen, and they can swing from their favourite monkey bars again.
As provinces start unwinding the tape from these much-loved outdoor spaces, family physician and public health expert Dr. Monika Dutt can see why families may have a range of reactions to the news.
On one hand, many parents and caregivers are excited about the opportunity for kids to stretch their limbs and run amok.
“We know that to have a space to take children outside is good for their mental and physical health,” she told HuffPost Canada.
I think most of stage 3 is dangerous and not great, but I’m really glad they’re reopening playgrounds. It seems low risk from everything I’ve read and, as 9yo said when he heard it on the news, “all they’ve cared about is opening fun things for grownups and nothing for kids!”— Anne Thériault (@anne_theriault) July 14, 2020
On the other hand, some apprehensive parents may worry about the potential exposure risks from playground time.
HuffPost Canada spoke to Dutt about playground safety tips. She shared what parents ought to keep in mind before having outdoors fun:
Consider your local cases and comfort levels
As Dutt notes, transmission patterns vary all across the country. Nova Scotia, where she resides, is farther along on the reopening timeline than many other parts of Canada: Kids have been going to playgrounds for a month and there have been no new cases of COVID-19 in the province for six days. Meanwhile, provinces like Ontario are just entering Stage 3 and are permitting playground usage in many regions only as of Friday. Be sure to know the local safety guidelines before venturing outside, as well as the sanitation situation in your location of choice — chances are, equipment won’t be disinfected every time a kid touches it.
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