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Staying at home in the wake of the pandemic can be quite mundane and unstimulating for families, and that’s especially true if you have children. But, with restrictions rolling back throughout the United States, parents need to ask themselves what sort of precautions they can practice when it comes time to bringing the kids back to the playground. Keep in mind, however, that the precautions you put in place don’t just protect your child, but also those that might be more vulnerable to infection than you.

Playgrounds are ultimately places to play, and that means the biggest risk of contact is going to be direct exposure to other kids. One of the main ways you can keep your child safe while they are playing is to be sure they have a mask on and are covering their face properly. It is strongly suggested that you take the time to practice proper mask wear with your children ahead of time.

Parents should also keep in mind that unlike some other public places, the cleaning routines for playgrounds can vary. Even if they are properly maintained, they can still be breeding grounds for bacteria even outside of this current pandemic. So, if you decide to take your child to the playground, you should ensure that they bathe, or at least wash their hands as soon as you get home.

Antibacterial soap is also another way to help prevent the spread of germs. If you do decide to take your child out to a playground, be sure to use the recommended amount of antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer. You could also stand to bring some disinfecting wipes to wipe down any areas your children decide to play in.

Social distancing is also something to keep in mind when venturing out to the playground. Be sure to stay at least 6 feet away from other parents and children. You should also not allow your kids to use a piece of equipment right after another child without having disinfected it beforehand. Encourage your child not to touch their own face and eyes while they are out playing. Making sure they don’t touch their faces too frequently is crucial.

While it isn’t recommended to go out to a playground right now, families may have the right protocol and community guidelines in place to allow them to. Ultimately, it’s down to each parent to decide what’s right for their kids. All we can do is look out as best we can for our children and hope that other parents do the same.