Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids     Family Fun    

Go to your local playground…the safe way



6 steps to take before stepping out the door

playgrounds, safety, social distancing

The kids have been patient. They’ve seen police tape around your favorite playgrounds, which tells them to just wait a bit longer. Now that tape’s down, how do you, as a parent, feel it’s safe enough for your young charges to go play among others, and their smudged fingerprints, safely?

Anna Weih of Motherly has a piece that weights the pros and cons and offers some helpful advice with the help of experts.

The key questions to ask yourself:

Are cases on the rise in your community?
Experts agree that while there's no such thing as a "risk-free" activity this summer, the top consideration is whether there is a high level of virus activity in your community. If there's a lot of community spread in your area, the safest place for kids to play is at home.

Does your household include any individuals who are especially at risk?
If you have any elderly, pregnant or immunocompromised household members, it's safer to play at home than at the playground.

Are playgrounds in your area open?
This may seem like an obvious one, but make sure to check your community's parks department website or social media sites before you head out to make sure you're not met with a locked gate—and a lot of disappointment.


Once you’ve decided it’s officially okay to go, try these recommendations:

1. Visit at off times and limit the length of your stay.
Typically, it is best to go early in the morning or late afternoon. Try to avoid lunchtime visits or times you know there will be large crowds so you can minimize your interaction with others. And manage expectations beforehand by letting children know there's a limit on playtime: "We'll be here until 10:30, and when I say it's time to go, it's time to go. Have fun!"

2. Wear a mask + bring extras.
Although you will be outside, it is still important to wear a mask especially if you cannot maintain a safe social distance. It doesn't hurt to bring a few extras in case they rip or get sweaty from your little ones playing.

3. Do not plan to eat at the playground.
Bringing snacks to the playground may seem like Parenting 101, but kids may be tempted to touch their face with unwashed hands while eating.

4. Bring water + avoid drinking fountains.

5. Bring sanitizer.

6. Closely monitor your child to ensure they're keeping a distance from other children.

 The playground will still be just as fun while practicing social distancing.




Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Guilt-free, superfruit snacking

    Sweet treats made to permissibly indulge

    For many, enjoying a small indulgence can serve as a reward for a job well done or a mood-boosting pick-me-up. In fact, mindful snacking is on-trend for a majority of consumers. read more »
  • Getting healthier starts wth your feet

    Start your wellness goals from the ground up

    Good foot and ankle health is critical for good overall health, so no matter what your wellness goals are, be sure to start from the ground up. read more »
  • Dangerous heart conditions often go undetected in pregnant and postpartum women

    A torn ACL revealed an undiagnosed heart defect

    National Jewish Health experts advocate for screenings to detect heart conditions that may develop in otherwise healthy women read more »
  • Bald Eagle viewing in winter

    Watching them can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience

    Winter is a great time to view bald eagles in New York State. Viewing from a safe distance and at established observation sites can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience. read more »
  • Yes, you can raise healthy, smart, kind kids in a screen-saturated world

    "The Mediatrician" helps guide parents on Safer Internet Day

    Raising children in a screen-saturated world elicits fear, hope, and questions from parents, educators, and healthcare providers. The best thing to happen this year on “Safer Internet Day,” is the launch of “The Mediatrician's Guide”, developed to deliver those critical answers. read more »
  • Looking for a new career?

    Become a financial planner

    Becoming a financial planner offers both financial rewards and the chance to help others. Whether you’re a recent graduate exploring your career path or a mid-career professional seeking change, this growing profession may be the right fit for you. read more »
  • How to prep the night before the SAT or ACT exam

    Calm your nerves and enter the testing site with confidence

    Taking the SAT or ACT exam is the culmination of months of test-specific preparation, and in truth, years of schooling. While knowing that can feel like a lot of pressure, there are steps you can take the night before the exam to calm your nerves and enter the testing site with confidence: read more »
  • 7 Valentine's Day date ideas to break from the norm

    Think outside the box this year

    If you’re feeling pressure to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day date, it may be time to veer away from tradition. While flowers, chocolates and dinner for two is a classic, thinking outside the box can make for just as romantic of an experience. read more »
  • Helping infants, toddlers and families thrive

    The child tax credit is a critical policy vehicle

    A bipartisan package that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, would expand the child tax credit (CTC). As the Senate decides whether to follow suit, advocates press that the CTC is a critical policy vehicle to help all infants, toddlers and their families thrive, and it should be implemented as soon as possible. read more »
  • What to look for when you need a law firm

    Savvy advice from Best Lawyers

    Let’s face it, no person or business gets a thrill out of hiring a law firm. Fortunately, peer-reviewed rankings have simplified the process. read more »