Spring hasn’t quite sprung but it is coming and I’m more than anxious for warmer weather! We love a variety of outdoor activities, going to the zoo, visiting LinVilla Orchards and other farms/farmer’s markets, but a true favorite of the boys is simply, the playground. Who doesn’t love going to the playground – it’s got everything! Slides, sandboxes, swings, steps, seesaws, other playmates for the boys, other moms for me, and the list goes on…but while it is a terrific outlet physically, it is a germaphobe’s nightmare. (I am not a germaphobe, I just have a healthy respect for things that can make my family sick.)
One of the most germ infested parts of a child’s world is the playground. It is, in theory, dirtier than a public bathroom because at least the restroom gets a wipe down occasionally. Aside from not being disinfected, ever, is that the playground is often left outside to brave the elements. Being kept outside also makes them more susceptible to natural wildlife. These squirrels, raccoons, birds, etc. often times leave droppings which are known to carry a variety disease which I’m sure you would not want your child’s hands anywhere near. Furthermore, and most importantly, there is the issue of children wiping their nose, mouth, and drool over the equipment…kids just lose all sorts of manners when playing on the playground and this does not lend well to germ-reduction.
Luckily, there are a number of things that we can do to help lower the spread of sickness and disease on the playground.
~ Do not try to disinfect the playground while your child plays. It will be overwhelming, exhausting, and pointless because guaranteed– you missed a spot.
~ Remind your child as often as possible to not put their hands anywhere near their mouths or eyes while playing.
~ Keep your child from the playground if they are at all sick or contagious.
~ Take your own snacks, and drinks so that there isn’t any saliva and germ sharing between children. If your child sees another child with a juice cup or a snack they are going to want some…there are plenty of other opportunities to enforce sharing at the playground.
~ Keep your paranoia about germs to yourself so that your child does not develop a complex.
~ and most importantly…wipe your child down as soon as they are finished playing.
These are all generally common sense tips on keeping your child safe from illness at the playground, but a gentle reminder is always good to start the season off right!
Get out there and enjoy the upcoming warmer weather!
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