TOWN OF MEDFIELD
BOARD OF HEALTH
TOWN HOUSE, 459 MAIN STREET
MEDFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS 02052-0315
(508) 906-3006 (phone)
To: Town of Medfield
From: Medfield Board of Health
Date: March 18, 2020
Re: Playdate Guidance for Medfield Families
The Medfield Board of Health today issued tangible recommendations to help Medfield families better navigate the social distancing strategies advocated by Governor Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
With schools and childcare services closed, many parents may be struggling to cope with children at home. Working from home with children present can be challenging, especially when they are younger.
It is important to remember that playdates put people in your family and community at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The best way to protect vulnerable members of your family and your community is to not have playdates; however, for some families, it may not be feasible to completely eliminate them.
If you must have playdates, there are strategies you can use to greatly reduce transmission risk:
- Have fewer playdates
- Locate playdates outside and minimize shared equipment
- Good options: going for hikes, riding bicycles or scooters
- Activities to avoid: playing on communal play structures or sandboxes.
- Include as few participants as possible (see recommendation below regarding ‘monogamy’)
- Encourage your children to play in a way that maintains social distance.
- Have children wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water after the playdate.
Consider Playdate Monogamy
Consider a “monogamous” playdate relationship. If, because of your work or family situation, you must have your children participate in some playdates, consider partnering exclusively with another family, and sticking with them throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Pick a family that is in a similar situation and is also serious about social distancing. If the adults in both families are consistently practicing social distancing, and their children are only playing with children of one other family, that is much better for slowing down the spread of COVID-19 in our community than a situation where children are playing with children from different families each day.
Please see the enclosed Washington Post article
(https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/03/14/parenting-tips-coronavirus/) which contains very good recommendations. This article emphasizes the importance of establishing a routine with your children. It also provides several resource links for homeschool resources, working from home with kids, and screen time strategies.
Guidance and information regarding COVID-19 is being updated frequently. We recommend the following resources:
Medfield Board of Health
Carol Read, Chair