Playing It Safe as the Pandemic Eases

Thanks to incredible advancements in medicine over the last year, the Covid-19 vaccine is proving to be effective at slowing the infection rate and getting us one step closer to ending the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. More adults and teenagers are becoming fully vaccinated and protected every day, but young children are still at risk until a pediatric version becomes available. Not to mention, there’s a big social adjustment happening, and our kids will feel the effects of it too.

While we may be tempted to enjoy the summer and jump back in to normal activities with our kids, experts say we should continue to play it safe as the Covid-19 pandemic eases up. The team at Healthline has provided some specific tips and guidance to help as you make your summer plans.

Slow down!
Summer schedules can fill up quick, but after 18 months of social distancing, it’s best to take it slow when reintroducing play-dates and social interaction. Kids have spent significantly more time in front of screens, indoors, and away from other kids. Setting up structured, short playdates will help children adjust easily to being around other kids again. As kids spend more time in active play, their physical stamina may be lower than usual, so give them some time to acclimate to a more active lifestyle. Easing back in will help kids adjust as we move out of the pandemic.

Outdoor play is still safest
Since many adults are protected from Covid-19 but young children still aren’t, outdoor play with other children is still recommended. The transmission rates in an outdoor setting have shown to be lower, so when getting together with other children, consider a park, a pool, or other outdoor summer activities. Just remember your sunscreen and water bottle!

Social Anxiety
For pre-school aged children, the pandemic has taken up a large portion of their life so far! It is easy to forget that a lot of our youngest children are experiencing something very new that seems like “back to normal” for adults, and it can cause some social anxiety. Big groups of people, separation from mom and dad, or brand new experiences can make our little ones uncomfortable. Try your best to keep elements of your activities familiar, to help young children feel safe and confident as they adjust.

Travel Carefully
Summer travel is back for 2021! As we consider our unprotected children, there are some great ways to mitigate the risk as we set out for new sites.

1. Car travel is safest. Airports are not empty anymore, so driving to your destination is much safer than a crowded airport or airplane. 
2. If you do fly, try to limit your trip to just one leg each way, to reduce time spent in the airport.
3. For lodging, Air B&B rentals, camping, or private lodging will be much safer than a busy resort. And if you are visiting loved ones, try to spend as much time outside as you can.

Our hopes are high that our children will soon be protected from the coronavirus, but until the vaccine becomes available and widely utilized, we should stay alert to keep them safe. If the summer fun gets cut short by Covid-19, our facilities are here to help. Learn more about our testing capabilities here

Adapted from this article by Healthline.