Taking the kids to the playground is a great avenue for them to get a breath of fresh air and let them exercise through engaging in active play. Particularly now that we live in a gadget-driven era, the playgrounds serve as a wonderful place for children to have a screen-free entertainment.
However, parents must be aware about some unseen dangers that are present in the playgrounds. Did you know that according to a study, 50 percent of the equipments in the playground are contaminated with some sort of illness-causing bacteria? Moreover, these playground equipments are also found to be contaminated with tads of sweat, urine, saliva, mucus and blood. Yikes! Turned out, average playgrounds are not so clean and can become the breeding grounds for all types of germs.
So, how do you ensure that your children’s exposure to these disease-causing contaminants are eliminated or minimized? Here are 8 practical tips every parent should know about.
1) Practice Good Hand Washing Before and After Playing
Teach your kids the importance of proper hand washing before and after playing. This habit works in two ways – helping your child combat the germs contaminating the playground equipments and in the same way protecting other children from getting into contact with the germs your kid might have.
2) Carry Along Some Wet Wipes With You
Bring along wet wipes with you which can come in handy when you need to wipe your kids’ hands clean and there is no water source around. You can also use the wet wipes to wipe down the equipments your child will most likely get contact with.
3) Use Microfiber Towel for Quick Cleaning
Maybe you and your family have decided to enjoy a picnic while out in the park, and you need to clean the picnic table in a breeze before you place the foods on top of the table. A microfiber towel can easily do the trick. Just spray on an environment-friendly cleaning spray on the towel to wipe the area clean.
4) Stay Away from Indoor Playgrounds
Sure, germs are lurking around in both indoor and outdoor playgrounds. But, indoor playgrounds are enclosed and germs of different types, including those bacteria that are known to cause meningitis, are easily trapped inside. Hence, no matter how much you want to keep the kids out even for just a few minutes while you do your groceries, avoid using indoor play areas such as those in the malls or restaurants.
5) Teach Your Kids to Avoid Putting Their Hands In Their Mouth and Nose
Teach your kids as early as possible to ditch the habit of putting their hands in their mouth or nose. Touching their mouth, nose and other facial areas with unclean hands is a surefire way of germ transfers.
6) Encourage Kids to Practice Proper Sneezing Habits
Children should learn how to cough or sneeze safely to avoid spreading the germs to others. Tell them to cough into their elbow or use a tissue should they need to sneeze rather than using their hands because doing so will only spread the saliva and mucus, along with the germs, as soon as they touch the playground equipments.
7) Stay Protected with a Handy Nasal Sanitizer
The nose can be an easy portal for disease-causing germs. You can give your children extra line of defense from common playground germs and contaminants by using easy-to-carry-around nasal sanitizer available in the market now. No nasal sanitizer available? Try applying a small coating of petroleum jelly around their nostrils area instead.
8) Start a Campaign to Raise Awareness About the Harmful Germs in the Playgrounds
Children deserve playgrounds that are not only fun but are also health-friendly and safe. Let other parents and the rest in your community know about the importance of a clean and sanitized playground. You can start raising funds that will be used for regular sanitation and disinfection of the equipments in your playground.
Be Cautious, But Avoid Going Overboard!
While it’s every parent’s duty to ensure their kids are protected and healthy, don’t forget to keep the balance and let your kids have fun at outdoor playground equipment. Besides, a little bit of exposure to bacteria is also good for the development of your child’s immune system. So, practice good hygiene along with common sense and let your kids enjoy playtime!