Playdates and the pandemic: Can kids safely meet up? | Health and Fitness

The truth is, we don’t know what the warmer weather or sunlight mean for safety. Just because we don’t have research proving something’s not safe doesn’t mean it is.

Most official guidelines recommend staying 6 feet apart, even outside, and wearing masks when not with members of your immediate household, or when you can’t be 6 feet apart. Don’t share snacks, and don’t touch each other.

Summer fun now, and an uncertain fall

One thing to consider: The more kids play together in the summer, the more it potentially impacts returning to school. “My goal is getting kids safely back to school in the fall, and if that means having a mellow summer at home then I’m all for that,” Altmann said.

What can kids do instead? In families where parents can carve out time to focus on their kids — a difficult prospect, when so many are working — play with them as much as possible, she suggested. Try to have some family fun. “The most important thing you can do for your kids right now is to spend time with them and create memories,” Altmann said.

But for those of us whose kids are antsy and anxious and desperate to see their friends, and whose work won’t let us dedicate our entire days to the kids, it’s likely we will let them create some pandemic memories with their pals, too. Chances are, they will remember those special and important playdates for the rest of their lives.

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