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Reopened playgrounds to provide much needed outlet for children

July 30, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Being a parent during COVID-19 is no easy task.

Distanced learning, finding childcare, and keeping the little ones entertained has created challenges in many households.

Fortunately, things are about to get slightly easier in terms of entertainment, as playgrounds were allowed to open back up under Ontario’s Stage 3 reopening last Friday.

“I am happy about that because this has always been a trade off, these control measures have always had a cost,” said Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Chief Medical Officer Dr. Charles Gardner.

“One area of impact has been on children and child wellbeing. We’ve become concerned about, for example, the loss of access to school, as its important to mental health and the wellbeing for children.”

Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Gardner has stressed the importance of exercise and staying active, as it promotes both mental and physical wellness.

“Being able to get out and be physically active is important and playgrounds have always been a great venue for that, for children to come together, socialize, have fun together and be physically active, so, in that regard, it’s a very good thing that we’ve got to the point where we can do this,” he noted.

“We also have had ever increasing research on children and we now believe that they are less susceptible to transmission and to transmitting to others and to complications compared to adults.”

As well, recent data has shown being outside in fresh air reduces the risk of transmission and UV light form the sun kills the virus, said Dr. Gardner.

“Outdoor playgrounds would be made safer because of those factors, because of the exposure to sunlight and because of the fresh air,” he explained.

Dr. Gardner said he still encourages children to physical distance if possible, however he recognizes for younger kids, it may be difficult to enforce.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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