Practical guide to go outside with children safely during confinement

The confinement due to the coronavirus ravages everyone's lives, both those of adults and those of the youngest members of the household who have not been able to walk the streets for weeks (also, in full debate on whether children infect plus coronavirus). As much as you have deployed all the artillery with the online school, wasted imagination with activities to do at home with the children, have made video calls to your friends or cooked with the family, many of the little ones demand to leave home imminently. The government has announced a new measure, not without controversy, by which boys and girls will be able to leave home from next Sunday, April 26. We tell you under what conditions they can do it and how they can leave in the safest way possible according to the experts.

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The keys to this "relief measure"

After the rectification of the Government before the statements of its minister spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, in which he said that only minors accompanied by an adult were authorized to go to the supermarket, the bank or the pharmacy, the second vice-president of the Government Pablo Iglesias and the minister of Health, Salvador Illa, have detailed what will consist of what they have called a "relief measure" of the state of alarm for the smallest.

Under what conditions will minors be able to go out?

  • Minors up to and including 14 years old can go out accompanied by an adult only once a day and for an hour maximum.
  • The responsible adult may be accompanying a maximum of three minors.
  • The time frame that has been established for these walks is from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. At that time each family can decide the best time to go for a walk, although the Government recommends avoiding rush hours, but always respecting the time limitations (maximum one hour).
  • The maximum distance allowed is one kilometer around the child's residence.
  • Boys and girls can go outside with their toys, scooters, bicycles etc … but they will not be able to use them in playgrounds or in the common areas of their community.
  • From the Ministry of Health they ask to maintain social and interpersonal distance (2 meters away) with other people who are on the street.
  • Boys and girls will be allowed to run, play and exercise, always maintaining social distancing measures.
  • Boys and girls living in rural areas will be able to walk through meadows, forests, fields and green areas following the previous recommendations.
  • Children or adolescents with symptoms compatible with the Covid-19 or who are in quarantine will not be able to leave the home.

What then happens to minors between 15 and 18 years of age? The same regulations apply to them as to the rest of the adults., they can go out to make the purchases that have been delimited in the state of alarm, to make the purchase and to the pharmacy.

After being clear about the regulations that the Government has established, we ask ourselves What protection measures should we take to the streets with children? How should we manage this new situation with the little ones?

Explain the new scenario to them before leaving

Lucía Galán, pediatric specialist doctor and known in social networks for her successful blog Lucía my pediatrician, explains that “that children can go out does not mean that the confinement is over, we should not relax, we should celebrate that finally the children will be able to get fresh air and we will be able to go for a walk with them but being very clear that we continue in confinement. It is very important to keep the distance of 2 meters and explain it to our children, no matter how old they are. ”

As you are emotionally you will transmit it to your children so explain to them clearly and from the calm and serenity (and with illusion) the way in which you are going to be able to walk And what things you still cannot do (because we continue to protect grandparents, the sick and our elders in general) but the time will come when they can also be done. Of course, "respect your decision and validate it if the child decides that he does not want to go out," explains perinatal psychologist Sabina Serrano.

On the other hand, what the children will want to know when they can go out is to see their friends and playmates on the street, but "it is recommended to avoid contact with other children and play with each other, it is advisable to make children aware of these conditions before leaving. Also avoid the "rush hours" in which it is foreseeable that there will be more people on the street to facilitate the maintenance of social distance, "explains Dr. Juan Carlos Nieto González, rheumatologist at the General University Hospital Gregorio Marañón in Madrid.

What security measures to take at the exits

One of the things that comes to mind first when thinking about going out with the children are the masks, should they go out with them on? The Government says that it is not necessary to use face masks in the smallest but they do recommend its use in children older than 3 years if a minimum safety distance cannot be guaranteed. Dr. Eva López García, family and emergency physician in Rural Assistance Services (SAR) is not in favor of using a mask on very young children "in very young children it is not effective because they are not capable of wearing it and, if they do they do, if they are put on correctly, even adults use them many times badly. They touch, scratch… the essential thing is social distancing and very frequent hand washing ”.

Of course it should be avoided as far as possible that they touch surfaces with their hands and then put them in their mouths, nostrils and eyes so it would be convenient to carry a hand sanitizer gel on these outings. "Children can become infected if they touch things that have the virus (elevator buttons, stair bars, door handles, light switches …)" explains the psychologist Sabina Serrano "it is important to be calm and not be scared if they touch something, it takes gel or soap and water to clean the child. If you see other people on the street, walk away calmly and without alarms so as not to stress or create fear or phobias to go outside, ”he continues.

When I return home

We already know in what way they can be on the street, but what happens when they return home? Dr. Lucía Galán warns us not to get carried away by fear and anxiety “with which let's get home wash our hands well, take off our shoes at the entrance and change our clothes is enough, it is not necessary to add anxiety and fear to the walk, thus you will avoid that they do not want to go out a next time ”he explains. The recommendation is to act the same way as an adult when you get home during isolation.

On returning home, the perinatal psychologist Sabina Serrano recommends “recognizing what the child did well, remembering the rules, talk about the experience in a positive light and tell him what we liked the most about the ride, so the child will be able to better enjoy his outings ”.

It seems that most of experts agree that these little rides for kids are positive in many ways. As Dr. López García explains, “these outings are very necessary for children on a physical and psychological level and, although there is fear on the part of many people to go out, children need it. Taking these walks responsibly and with the corresponding hygiene measures is very beneficial for everyone. ” From the Spanish Association of Primary Care Pediatrics (AEPap), they explain that “The reasons behind their departure are the possibility of recreation in open spaces, physical activity and receiving sunlight, among others. Children are safer when they are further away from small closed spaces. In closed places, in addition to not being able to cover the aforementioned needs, the possibilities of disease transmission increase ”, of course, parental responsibility or guardians and caregivers are used at this time to avoid contagion and unnecessary risks.

Taking care, respecting the rules of social distancing and hygiene, there should be no problem, according to the experts, in going out with the children for a short walk. Yes, do not relax and leave with caution as until now, we continue in confinement and with a clear regulation on the matter. Courage, we are getting closer to getting out of alarm and isolation.

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