Is It Safe for Children to Be Playing Outside During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and children are no exception. Suddenly, and without warning, COVID-19 turned their lives upside down in March of 2020. Daycares and schools closed their doors. Their day-to-day routines were upended. And their connection to the outside world was cut short.

Even though many things have begun to reopen and return to normal, things still aren’t the same—especially for kids. With the vaccine still out of reach for younger children, masks, distancing, and limited interactions are a “new normal” that kids continue to contend with.

The best way to protect yourself and others from the virus is to get the COVID-19 vaccine.1 However, since no vaccine is yet approved for kids under 12, families still need to be mindful of other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As parents, we are doing everything we can to make their lives as comfortable and full as we can as the pandemic continues. Doing so means weighing the risks of every activity we allow them to participate in. And the truth is, having a grasp on what is safe and what isn’t can get very confusing!

One area that has many parents confused is whether or not it’s safe for their kids to enjoy the great outdoors and participate in outside activities.

In terms of COVID-19 transmission, outside spaces are safer than inside spaces. Still, exactly how to navigate these outside activities and make them as safe as possible can be difficult to understand.

It’s always best to turn to the experts. So, let’s look at what guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) tell us about children’s outside activities.

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