Lakewood family balancing activities for kids while maintaining social distance

Doctors warn against play dates and other group settings amid coronavirus outbreak

Lakewood family balancing activities for kids while maintaining social distance
Everett Moser plays beside a tree at Lakewood Park (Source: WOIO)

LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WOIO) - With the governor’s stay-at-home order in place, and playgrounds closed as a result, many kids are likely feeling cooped up as new signs of spring approach.

Keeping your children active and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak

But with coronavirus still very much a threat, doctors are doubling down on their warnings to keep children as far apart as possible.

“For me and him, it’s good to get out of the house and be as active as possible,” said Molly Moser of Lakewood. “Just walk and have fun, letting him move as much as he wants to.”

Moser was enjoying a sunshine-filled day at Lakewood Park on Wednesday with her 3-year-old son Everett and their dog Bailey.

“We love going to libraries and playgrounds and all those places that are super kid friendly,” she said, but with limited options, the plan has changed. “A lot more technology and screen time has been part of Everett’s life. He has a lot of cousins we FaceTime with.”

She said Everett enjoys spending time with them, which just isn’t practical right now.

Doctors are also warning against group settings and play dates.

“Especially with younger kids, there’s no way you can really provide supervision because they are playing in enclosed quarters,” said Dr. Purva Grover, of the Cleveland Clinic.

Instead, the Mosers are practicing social distancing, running around with Everett in an open field, away from other children and letting his imagination run free.

“We played treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, pretending to be dogs like our dog Bailey here,” she said.

But for most kids, adjusting to changes can be difficult.

“Change is hard, but I think talking about it helps,” she said.

Medical professionals echo that, noting that it’s important to listen to kids’ concerns.

“Find out where they’re at. Ask what they’ve heard, what they know and what they think and feel about these things,” said Kate Eshleman, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “It’s always important to tell the truth in a developmentally appropriate way, and we want to provide the kids with reassurance.”

That’s exactly what Moser has done with her young son.

“Just talk about (how) people are sick and we’re trying to be healthy. That’s as far as we go and that seems to be enough for him to understand.”

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