Pediatrician discusses risks of pools, playdates amid pandemic

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MADISON, Wis. — Coronavirus is commonly caught by talking to someone at a close distance without a mask or getting coughed or sneezed on, but water activities can be at-risk as well.

At a park or playground, parents and kids can still wear masks to protect themselves, but pediatrician Dr. Dan Beardmore said masks are not really an option at a pool.

He said studies show coronavirus can still live on surfaces or in the water.

“But that time is really short and it becomes extremely short outside,” Beardmore said. “A splash pad or pool, is it possible to catch that through the water? Yes, but it is very likely? No.”

He said if you are willing to take the small risk, kids can try to play on opposite sides of the splash pad from others.

When parents set up playdates, parents should ask each other what they are comfortable with. Kids should also take shoes off when they go in someone’s house and ask if they would prefer that you wear a mask.

Beardmore said wearing a mask is still the most important thing for people to do, even if they are just running into a store for a few minutes.