3 Tips to Have a Safe and Social Summer This Year
Experts share how to be appropriately cautious when preparing for post-COVID summer fun.
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Dr. Desai recommends asking about vaccine status for adults and kids (older than 12) in the household. If all members are vaccinated, the risk of transmission is much lower. If kids haven’t been vaccinated, Dr. Desai recommends masks—parents should model mask-wearing behavior so their kids can follow their example. Also, talk to them about the importance of not sharing food/cups or items that are difficult to clean, and they should be reminded not to put toys in their mouths or touch their faces.
If children will be eating together, and masks will be coming off, make sure to enforce social distancing rules. The CDC says that COVID transmission can occur when touching surfaces covered in the virus, or within 6 feet of others who don’t live in the same house. Another good nugget of advice: Postpone the playdate if anyone is sick.
Research summer camp and play outdoors.
If you’re looking to send your child to camp, ones that are primarily outdoors are still your best option. Be sure to ask about safety precautions that will be taken by the staff. Dr. Desai recommends asking if masks are required at all times, if staff members are required to be vaccinated, and about the number of children that will be enrolled. “If staff members are vaccinated and most of the day is spent outdoors and in small groups, this will definitely lower the risk for children attending,” she says.
Additionally, parents should know the rules when it comes to encounters with someone who has COVID. “Ideally, even large camps will split up into smaller pods so that kids and staff are only exposed to a limited number of people,” Dr. Desai says.
No matter what level of socializing your family chooses this summer, keep in mind that the best option for one family may not be the best option for another family. And as Dr. Desai says, it’s important that kids find joy in their summer activities. “We know that there are clear benefits to attending in-person camp and having playdates, so it is crucial to encourage these activities in a way that is safe and mindful.”