What's 'Safe' — And Not — For Kids This Summer

Catherine Pearson
(Bicho_raro via Getty Images)

As summer 2020 really kicks into high gear, moms and dads are facing truly unprecedented parenting questions. There has never been a rule book when it comes to raising kids — and there sure isn’t one now.

Medical groups like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have put out “considerations” for various scenarios, but in the absence of concrete, national guidelines parents have to make their own decisions. Unfortunately, the stakes are high, and what we know about COVID-19 changes by the day.

Thankfully, experts seem to agree on a few basic principles: Outdoor activities are better than indoor activities. Smaller groups are better than bigger ones. Shorter visits are better than longer ones. Masks help.

Beyond that, it’s kind of the wild west.

“This is tough, because we’re all navigating things in real time,” said Dr. Mary Caserta, a professor of pediatrics in the division of pediatric infectious diseases with the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“I’m grateful my own children are grown,” she admitted.

Wondering WTF you’re going to do with your own kids this summer? HuffPost Parents spoke with four medical experts to break down some more common scenarios and how risky each of them is.

Going to the beach

Beach lovers, rejoice! All of the experts HuffPost spoke to for this story agreed that hitting the beach is a relatively low-risk activity — if you stick to a few guidelines.

First, don’t go to a crowded beach. And before you go, make sure your kids understand that while other kids might be there — and they might be really eager to play — they have to stick to your family unit.

Lastly, yes, you should all wear masks, or at least have them with you.

“If you’re at the beach and it’s relatively sparsely populated, I would have the mask there with you and whip it out if a whole throng of people come and circle you, or whatever,” said Dr. Susan Coffin, clinical...

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