Getting your kids outdoors during COVID-19

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  • Tracy Goovaerts says:

    I live in a small townhome/condo community in London Ontario.
    I have a child that has been home schooling since September.
    She has played outside with the friends and neighbours that also practice covid safety rules.
    Is it ok if she still plays outside within the complex – while maintaining covid protocol?

  • couchieman says:

    brother stop

  • guccieman says:

    hehe noice

  • J currie says:

    Is it ok to have neighbours kids or a friend bring her children to your yard okay on the trampoline etc ? I see this daily a neighbour has a friend or the next door neighbours kids in the yard to play with her two kids . What’s the difference if they are in a schoolyard then ?

  • ediriweera desapriya says:

    A very interesting and timely perspectives and I agree with you whole heartedly!
    I think it’s very important to keep in mind significant hidden social cost of this pandemic. Children confined to small spaces and idle and this is the worse thing any child can experience in their life time. No physical activity or mental simulations for a uncertain prolong period of time. I strongly believe that the children, parents or their care givers need to provide exceptions on these rigid rules. They should mentor and guide appropriately how they could maintain physical distance while engaging in safe physical activities out side their homes. New accumulating evidence also showing that wearing face masks in places where physical distance can be compromised, is also a good idea and parents and care givers should keep open mind with these kinds of new developments. We could take our children to play outside always using these additional protective measures. Wearing a mask is “an additional layer of protection for those who have to go out,” former FDA Commissioner Dr. Gottlieb. Other prominent public health experts in Canada are also optimistic about this additional layer of protection and showing publicly their support in recent days.
    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clinical report, children’s play is not frivolous. Rather, play is brain building, a central part of healthy child development, a key to executive function skills, and a buffer against the negative impacts of stress. Furthermore, play builds the bond between parent and child.
    The report even recommend that clinicians to write a prescription for play, because it’s so important. According to Dr. Yogman- “Play with parents and peers is fundamentally important for developing a suite of 21st century skills, including social, emotional, language and cognitive skills, all needed by the next generation in an economically competitive world that requires collaboration and innovation. The benefits of play cannot really be overstated in terms of mitigating stress, improving academic skills and helping to build the safe, stable and nurturing relationships that buffer against toxic stress and build social-emotional resilience.” So, we should be doing everything possible to promote safe play of our vulnerable children during this pandemic. In critical period like this, clear, direct, objective and timely information is the most important preventive measure. It is our utmost important responsibility to provide information on how to promote child play safely during this pandemic.
    Yogman M, Garner A, Hutchinson J, Hirsh-Pasek K, Golinkoff RM; COMMITTEE ON PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF CHILD AND FAMILY HEALTH; COUNCIL ON COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA. The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children. Pediatrics. 2018 Sep;142(3). pii: e20182058. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2058.

  • colleen reel says:

    Absolutely agree and love this. As an elementary phys Ed and health teacher this has become my main focus for my entire school all 800 of our students need to be moving outside at some point every day. Also as a single mother of three it has become our focuses as we deal with these changed times and keeping a healthy mental state!


Katherine Monahan


Katherine Monahan is an environmental researcher at the Smart Prosperity Institute at the University of Ottawa, and a Fellow in Global Journalism at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

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