Pediatric Medical Director: Don't Use Public Playgrounds Right Now

Mar 26, 2020

There is an increased risk of parents and families letting children use public playground equipment right now, a Georgia pediatric medical director warns as public parks and playgrounds stay open around the state, even as bars and restaurants close amid coronavirus fears.

If a family is trying to get some outdoor time during their social distancing, avoiding the equipment altogether is the safest bet, Medical Director for the Children's Hospital of Georgia Emergency Department Natalie Lane advised. 

"It's relatively challenging if you're going to put children in a park where they have a tendency to all use the same play equipment," Lane said. "You know, hands, face, mouth, there's a sundry of things that can be transmitted that route."

"Other activities like walking, even playing ball with family members, can be safer," Lane added. She argued that now, more than ever, families need to be attentive to what their kids are doing and how they're playing.

Lane said it may be time for cities to step in to limit access to parks with playgrounds.

"You know, you'd like to say that everybody can use good judgment and recognize the fact of transmission when you're handling it," Lane said. "But cities may actually have to step in where good judgment really is isn't a big thing or played out."