Are Playdates OK?
With schools closing for a few weeks, including all schools in District 203 and District 204, parents may be looking to set up playdates to keep their children entertained.
However, Naperville doctors Usman A. Khan and Atif Fakhruddin, recommend that any gatherings, including playdates, should be avoided for the near future.
“Initially we felt that only those who are coughing, sneezing, they will be spreading the infection,” said Dr. Fakhruddin. “But as it’s evolving, now we are told even if children might not have the symptoms, they might be carriers. So they might not be sick, but they can still carry the virus.”
What are Some Recommendations?
The doctors said there are no hard and fast, data-proven guidelines at this point regarding precautions to take during a playdate since this is an evolving situation.
So if you decide to organize playdates, there’s a possibility the following recommendations could be changed, but for the time being, here is what they suggest you do:
“Limit the gathering to three or four kids and not more than that. Kids that are coming to the house should not have any symptoms of a runny nose, congestion, cough. Even simple, common cold symptoms, it’s best to avoid in this situation,” said Dr. Khan. “If you decide to have a play date keep in touch with the children’s parents to follow-up to see if any of them develop any symptoms that you can look out for in your children as well.”
Some other recommendations include making sure kids are washing their hands frequently and washing them for 20 seconds as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), avoid touching their faces and noses, and keeping hand sanitizer nearby.
They said parents should wipe toys before and after the playdate and wipe down surfaces with alcohol-based sanitizers.
Since it may be difficult to stay at home all this time, the doctors suggest going to a park that’s not very crowded or take a family hike. Indoor playgrounds, bouncy houses, and crowded locations should be avoided.
What Does Close Contact Mean?
The CDC has also been recommending to avoid close contact, but what does that mean? Dr. Khan said that means you should stay six feet way from someone who is coughing or sneezing.
Dr. Fakhruddin said this is a difficult situation, but that doesn’t mean people need to worry.
“It should not create panic at all. They just need to be aware, informed, so we can do the right thing to protect ourselves, our community, and the nation,” he said.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.