Oh friends, COVID really threw a wrench in our summer plans! I know we’re all doing our best but RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU AND YOUR KID ARE GOING STIR CRAZY!! 🙂
We cancelled our travel plans but started having some of Henry’s little friends over to play outside at our water table. We’re also regulars at our neighborhood spray park. Even though we’re outside, I started wondering…is it even okay to do this? Should Henry wear a mask with his buddies? Is it okay to go to the spray park or pool?!
Here to answer those questions is your new favorite pediatrician, Dr. Salma Haneef! She’s part of AHN Pediatrics and works out of Jefferson Hospital.
I loved talking with her because she’s got 2 boys…a 3-year-old and a 16-month-old. The advice she gives is legit because she’s living it too! We covered everything from playing outside this summer, going to the pool and what she thinks the fall might look like.
Should my young child wear a mask outside at the park or playground? Dr. Haneef: If you find that your child is touching his face a lot more because of the mask…it’s probably better to forgo the mask. The outdoors is one of the lowest risk places you can go to play because there’s really no opportunity for the virus to concentrate. Spending time outdoors is one of the lowest risk activities right now for kids. Also, outdoor activity is so important…I tell my patients that they should get outdoors, and if you think your child can maintain a relatively safe distance with friends and family then it’s okay to forgo the mask.
Is it okay to go to the pool or spray park? Dr. Haneef: The CDC has said that there are no findings that there’s any virus transmission in water. Outdoor pools and outdoor spray parks are safer, and if you have a neighbor or family member with a pool, who you trust, that’s safer than an indoor community pool. Go to the pool during off-times when it’s less crowded like early morning or late in the day. Don’t use community toys or pool noodles and limit snacking. Try to have your child eat his snack in the car after swimming. If your child has to eat at the pool, make sure to sanitize his hands first!
What are your predictions for the fall? Dr. Haneef: The fall is such an unknown, but one thing we do know is that the weather is going to force us indoors! We won’t have the wide, expansive places to play. It’s also the start of flu and cold season which means it will be hard to differentiate between normal cold symptoms and COVID. As far as schools and daycares go, everything could change on a dime! A lot of what happens will depend on what the normal flu season is like.
THE BIG TAKEAWAY with DR. HANEEF: Get outside!! The summer is nice and warm, and we don’t know what’s going to happen in the fall, so definitely get outside while you can!Kids only make up 2% of all the COVID cases worldwide, but they bear the burden of all these protocols. Weigh the risks and benefits when you’re trying to decide if you’ll go see older family members or take the kids to the pool. It can be difficult and scary, but we have to try and enjoy the summer!
If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your child with Dr. Haneef, she is at AHN Pediatrics in Jefferson Hills and the number is (412) 460-8111!