Illinois is loosening COVID-19 restrictions, giving our children the opportunity to expand their summer fun. Our state and our citizens have done a marvelous job at “flattening the curve”, meaning we’ve avoided overwhelming hospitals and health centers with dangerously ill patients. However, here at Alzein Pediatrics, we want to remind you that a flatter curve doesn’t mean the risk of infection is gone. We are still just as much at risk of contracting the virus as we were in March, and if we’re not careful, we could see a severe surge in cases.
However, our children do need to play, to run and to be outdoors in fresh air and sunshine. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children get a minimum of an hour of vigorous physical activity each day. These activities encourage healthy development of both the body and the mind.
Alzein Pediatrics is here to help! Social distancing has made some activities inaccessible, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy summer while preventing infection.
Visit Mother Nature – Walk, hike or bike at nearby parks, nature trails and centers. Bring a simple birdwatching, butterfly or insect identification guide to thrill your kids in the joy of discovery. Visit the location’s website to be clear about hours and available amenities; restrooms may not be open. Be sure to pack plenty of water, hand sanitizer, insect repellant and sunscreen!
Get Wet – Turn your backyard into a water park. Set up a slip-n-slide, sprinklers, buckets of water, water tables or a wading pool. Your kids will enjoy cooling down while they run, slide and play. Be sure an adult is present within arm’s reach of any standing water to prevent tragedies and watch for tripping and falling when surfaces get soaked. Wear that sunscreen!
Go Vintage with Backyard Games – Remember all the fun you had playing Kick The Can, Mother May I and Ghost in the Graveyard? Give your older kids the basic outline of each game, use a flashlight as a no-contact way to “tag” people, and let them loose in a designated, safe area of your neighborhood. The best part of these games is there’s really no limit on players, allowing all the kids – and even the parents – can play.
Let’s Play Pirates – Depending upon the ages of your kids, hide 5 – 20 objects in your yard and create a Treasure Map of instructions to discover their locations. You can direct children with instructions like “stand by the mailbox and then take 4 steps west” or “a treasure will be found where Grandma comes into our house.”
Turn Your Backyard Into a Movie Theater – This can be easy or as complicated as you’d like! In front of your garage door or on the side of your house, hang a flat white sheet and use a low cost adaptor to turn your smartphone into a projector. You can also go big by purchasing an inflatable screen and projector you can run from your laptop or tablet with an HDMI port. Once you have your theater set-up, invite friends to bring blankets to space at least 6 feet apart, serve popcorn in individual bags and enjoy a family-friendly movie outdoors!
Until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, please use stringent safety precautions. Stay at least 6 feet away from people not living in your household and avoid crowds of more than 10 people. Everyone over the age of 2 should wear a mask when visiting indoor public spaces like the grocery store. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Everyone here at Alzein Pediatrics knows that your kids need outdoor play. We also know we need to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With a few extra precautions and some creativity, you can enjoy a happy and healthy summer with your family.
Have you scheduled your child’s school or sports physical? Appointments are filling fast, so call 708-424-7600 or click here to schedule!