It’s hard enough for parents trying to figure out how to keep working while the kids are at home for the next few weeks, and perhaps even longer. But, during a serious pandemic, a local pediatrician said now is not the time to schedule play dates to pass the time.
“The most ideal thing really is to spend time with only your family’s own germs,” said Dr. Steve Silvestro of Metropolitan Pediatrics in North Bethesda. “Ideally, you don’t want to be hanging out with other people, especially in enclosed, indoor spaces.”
That’s a tough pill to swallow for many families around here, especially for those with younger kids.
But Silvestro, who blogged about this topic over the weekend, said that doesn’t mean your family needs to be cooped up inside the house together. You just have to be smart.
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Kids can engage in outdoor activities together, with Silvestro mentioning hikes and bike rides as the kind of social activities that allow people to maintain adequate social distances.
“If you have toddlers or super active kids who are dog-piling, and wrestling, and climbing on playground equipment together, then that’s not ideal right now,” Silvestro said.
There is some concern about how long the new coronavirus might stay alive on various outdoor surfaces and playground equipment, but generally, being outside makes you much less likely to catch the virus compared to being inside a room where it can linger for a few hours, even in the air.
But, Silvestro also acknowledged just how difficult, and perhaps even impossible, it’ll be to keep your kids from playing with others.
“If you’re really feeling the crunch of this, and that’s understandable,” Silvestro said, “if you can pick a ‘best friend family,’ and you can trust that family, and they can trust you, and you can both agree that you guys will be the only two families that hang out together over the next few weeks,” then that at least minimizes the possible exposure and keeps it contained within that group.