After spending so many weeks and months cooped up in lockdown, your kids must be itching to get outside again, constantly asking you for permission to play with their friends and finally enjoy their time outside.
So, now that the lockdown restrictions have been eased somewhat, does that mean they’re allowed to? Or is there still a large element of risk involved with enabling your kids to play outdoor sports again?
Put frankly, COVID-19 hasn’t simply gone away. The number of cases and deaths associated with the virus may be significantly lower than they were before but, until we have an appropriate vaccine available, it’s important to err on the side of caution while trying to maintain the health of your kids.
That said though, exercise is also incredibly important for keeping your kids healthy, so how are you supposed to get the balance right?
Well, that’s where we can help. Listed below are some of the most effective ways of keeping your kids safe when reintroducing them to sport during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Choose Sports Carefully.
Certain sports are a lot less risky for your kids to play than others. Therefore, if you’re worried about them contracting or carrying the coronavirus, try to encourage them to play sports that keep as socially-distant from other people as possible.
Rounders, cricket and golf, for example, are all great ways of keeping your kids fit while also reducing their potential exposure risk, while hikes, runs and walks are all fun activities that can also be carried out while keeping a safe distance from others
Tennis is a particularly great choice for ensuring social-distancing as well and is perfect for this time of year. However, it’s important that your kids abide by the rules and follow the correct court etiquette at all times while playing.
- Choose People Carefully.
Keeping your kids safe from harm largely comes down to common sense and being careful about the people they come into potential contact with.
With this in mind, re-introduce your kids to sports and outdoor activities with members of your immediate family or people in your social bubble. That way, you will only be exposing them to germs they’ve already been around, limiting their risk of exposure.
If you know one of their school friends has recently been ill, for instance, as much as your kids will want to play with them when they’re better, it’s important to be strict and make them hold off until you’re sure it’s safe to do so.
- Maintain Personal Hygiene.
While you’re probably getting sick of the sight of hand sanitiser by now, maintaining your kid’s personal hygiene before, during and after participating in sports is not only vital to their own health but the health of others around them as well.
Make sure they wash their hands on a regular basis and shower as soon as they get back in from playing outside. Bacteria can live unrecognised on the skin for several days so keep them as clean as possible to keep them safe from the virus.
Also, while they’re playing sport, stress the importance of avoiding contact with other players. Tell them, for now at least, they’ll need to avoid hugging or shaking hands with their friends. They’ll also need to stop touching their face during any sports they play, as this could provide harmful bacteria with an entry point into their body.
- Avoid Indoor Sports.
Research has found that playing sports outdoors is a lot safer than indoors, largely due to factors like the wind lowering the risk of transmission. Therefore, where possible, encourage your kids to take part in sports and activities that take place outdoors.
Whether it be biking, playing tennis or taking part in a socially-distanced exercise class, there are a number of ways for you and your kids to enjoy the great outdoors. And, now that we’re in the peak of summer, the weather shouldn’t pose too much of an issue either.
Keeping your kids safe when reintroducing them to exercise is a concern for a lot of parents at the moment but, by following the advice listed above, it can be done.
The key thing is to be sensible about how much time they’re spending outdoors, who they’re interacting with and what their personal hygiene routine is like.
By keeping on top of these three things, you’ll be able to significantly lower the likelihood of them being affected.