Are Playdates OK During COVID-19 Pandemic?

Many schools, libraries, and activity centers are closed to help contain COVID-19, but a doctor explains why play-dates are also not recommended at this time.

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CLEVELAND – Many schools, libraries, and activity centers are closed to help contain COVID-19 – so what’s a kid supposed to do all day?

Parents may think a playdate is the answer – but according to Cleveland Clinic’s Purva Grover, M.D., we need to use caution.

“When it comes to playdates, especially with younger kids, there’s no way you can really provide supervision, because they are playing in enclosed quarters; they’re playing together; they’re close to each other, which at this time – with the virus we have and the current environment – not a good idea,” said Dr. Grover.

Dr. Grover said the point of canceling school and activities is to promote social distancing – which means keeping a distance of about six feet from others to prevent germ spread.

She said early data suggests COVID-19 doesn’t seem to severely affect children, but warns kids may be carriers and able to infect others.

Dr. Grover believes it’s okay for a child to play outside to burn off some energy, but urges parents, and children alike, to be vigilant with hand washing, especially if they’re heading to a playground.

“There are a lot of hard, metal surfaces, so the rates of contamination, and the risk of exposure, is exponentially higher,” she said. “I would advise, go ahead and play, but if your kids are young enough and potentially cannot follow the instructions of not touching everything or not washing their hands properly, then it’s probably not a good idea.”

Dr. Grover said children with a cold, congestion, cough or fever should not be allowed to play with healthy siblings or other kids.

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