South Africa has finally moved to lockdown level 2 – which means family and social visits are now allowed. But, before you invite your toddler’s friend over for a play date or drop your child off for one, read this.
Organise a play date with friends or family you trust
You only have control over so much during this pandemic. So, if you’re going to let a friend come over make sure it’s someone you know follows the same precautions you do to protect your family against the virus.
Ask the parents beforehand who they’ve seen and what they’ve been up to the last couple of months when organising the play date.
Make sure everyone in the household is healthy
Before letting another child come to your house or taking your child to their house, find out if anyone has a cough or fever, or has had in the past 10 days. You’ll also need to ask if they’ve been in contact with anyone else in the past 10 days with those symptoms. If they have been, experts say it’s best not to let the children play together.
Dr Catherine Soprano, a paediatrician with Nemours Children’s Health System told HuffPost that if the answer is yes, and even if they have been tested for COVID-19 and were negative, she wouldn’t allow her own child to be in contact with that child.
Will the kids play outside?
Dr Priya Soni, a paediatric infectious disease specialist at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center says the number one question she would ask before a play date is whether or not it would be outdoors.
According to HuffPost, a lot of researchers now believe the virus that causes COVID-19 isn’t just transmitted through large respiratory droplets; it may be spread through tiny aerosols that can linger in the air for hours. They say the air currents outside dilute those droplets much faster than if kids are huddled up together inside.
Will the kids wear masks?
Wearing a mask is strongly recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Experts recommend that all children 3 years and older wear one when they go out in public spaces or have contact with people who don’t live with them. However, whether or not the kids wear masks when they play together is completely up to you.
Look at your area’s local transmission rate
Keep a close eye on the transmission rate in your area before planning a play date.
Wipe down toys
If your child’s friend is coming to your house to play, disinfect and wipe down all the toys they’ll play with before the time. You can also ask the other parents to bring their child’s own toys along so the kids don’t have to share anything.
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