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Social distancing and what it means for children

Playground photo
Wikimedia Commons

Schools have been closed to increase social distancing. But now that kids are home, what rules apply to them?

Most kids want to play with their neighborhood friends and plan playdates. When it comes to the spread of COVID-19, Doctor Sharon Swindell, President of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics says you need to consider that children can transmit disease even if they’re not very sick themselves.

“I think every family has to think about, who in my environment is at risk? Are there elderly people that live in my home, or near me or in a home that the child might be visiting, are there people with underlying health conditions that I should be aware of or that might be immunocompromised.”

That must be a part of the decision-making process.

If a child has mild cold symptoms, Dr. Swindell explains they should not be in contact with others. She also recommends enforcing proper hygiene and avoiding heavy-use playgrounds.

An outdoor walk with a couple of friends, in most cases, should be safe.

I’m Patrick Center

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.