Getting out during the pandemic? Bookmark this “safety guide”

Several studies in Europe and Asia have suggested that young children are less likely to be infected and spread the virus. (Getty Images)

Spending time outdoors is a favorite activity for children and adults alike. However, with the COVID-19 epidemic still raging, parents and guardians must balance outdoor fun with family health. Think of this as a “guide to safety” for outdoor recreation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the activities of many people. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, celebrations, shows and other events have been postponed for an unknown length of time. Many important holidays and events have also been canceled. But it’s not the end of the world either; several pleasant outdoor activities are still available, which you can make the most of with your loved ones!

COVID-19 is contagious, but how contagious exactly is it?

Unfortunately, COVID-19 can and does spread when a healthy person comes in close contact with an infected person. Infectious people cough and sneeze, allowing respiratory secretions to enter the lips, nose and eyes of their healthy neighbors. This is especially true in poorly ventilated and crowded indoor environments. Additionally, when contaminated objects come in contact with each other, disease can spread.

When this happens outdoors, the risk of COVID-19 transmission increases because there is no containment or congestion. Still, it is essential to take measures such as staying at least three feet away, wearing a mask around people who have exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, and washing or disinfecting their hands regularly.

What can you do to keep your family safe while enjoying the outdoors?

Make an effort and exercise to maintain the health of your body. And by following a few simple guidelines, you can help protect your family from infection with COVID-19.

· Tours should be planned in advance to avoid congested roads and peak periods.

Remember to bring plenty of tissues, ethanol-based hand sanitizers (at least 70% alcohol) and reusable sheet masks with you when you go out, for example when you eat or drink.

· Please check that everyone is healthy and free of symptoms before you leave the house.

Remember to keep a distance of one meter from strangers, use a cloth mask when approaching them, and wash / sanitize your hands often.

· If you wish to dine out, you will need to bring your own food and utensils. If possible, avoid eating indoors and always wash your hands before eating.

· When you get home, use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

Concerns about family safety when going out with friends. Who is most at risk?

Family members are required to make choices that are appropriate for their circumstances. As an example, consider the following:

· Using this free web tool, you can track COVID-19 broadcasts in your area. Public exposure to high transmission rates is a cause for concern.

Elderly family members or with pre-existing medical conditions should be protected from COVID-19. Therefore, you may want to restrict your children’s interaction with others (including play dates) or isolate them from relatives and friends.

· Face-to-face communication should be brief and take place outdoors. If encouraged to do so, only one family or acquaintance should join the group.

· Whatever you choose, maintain communication with your child. Encourage them to express their dissatisfaction and to admit any violations they may have committed. Older children and adolescents, in particular, are more likely than younger ones to take risks or succumb to peer pressure.

· Use relevant and valid scientific information to guide and direct the choices and actions of your children.

Is it safe to use a public toilet?

You should at all costs avoid using public toilets when you are out of your city in the midst of a pandemic.

· Wear a face mask and wash your hands afterwards.

· Regularly use hand sanitizers containing at least 70% alcohol to keep your hands clean.

Is it possible for the child to swim indoors and outdoors?

Swimming pools, for example, are not ideal for the transmission of COVID-19. Your family can only bathe if they follow the usual municipal rules. Consider the following when deciding whether or not to go to a swimming pool and shores:

· Overcrowding and user awareness both play a role in deciding the safety of recreation areas.

· If possible, avoid visiting these pools during peak hours.

· Do not eat in the pool area and constantly supervise your children.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Low-risk outdoor activities

Brisk walking and jogging

Cycling and roller skating

· Hunting and fishing

Snow climbing and golf

Paddle, yachting or snorkelling

Mountain biking, including cross-country and downhill

· Sled

Kite surfing

Outdoor or online exercise classes

Low risk social gatherings

Potlucks

Supermarkets

· Drive-ins / restaurants

Minimal risk recreational activities

· Eat outside

Camping

Beach resorts and swimming pools

Small-scale social gatherings

Kayaking with friends

Potlucks, campfires and barbecues are popular outdoor activities

Sports and events

Avoidable: high-risk outdoor activities

Crowded areas, such as markets, movie theaters

Playgrounds for children’s camp activities

Protect yourself and others from the COVID-19 epidemic. Knowing what to anticipate and what to do during the pandemic can allow you to make more informed choices.


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Susan W. Lloyd