There are so many benefits to public parks and playgrounds—from bringing the community closer together to being a wonderful physical outlet for children. But with all of that joy and use, comes some hidden dangers. From unsafe surfaces to hot metal slides, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the different things to be aware of at a playground. Today, we’ll discuss hygiene practices for the playground. According to the AAA State of Play, “almost half of all playground equipment is contaminated with potentially illness-inducing bacteria.” Have fun and stay healthy with these important practices!
Wipe it Down
Probably one of the most simplistic ways to stay clean at the park is by taking disinfecting wipes with you. We are not saying wipe down every surface of the playground, but try to wipe down the areas your child is most likely to touch. Some may think you’re a germaphobe, but you have no way of knowing (and they probably don’t either) when the last time someone cleaned the equipment. The wipes are also a good idea for cleansing your child’s hands after use.
Wash Hands Before and After
It’s important to get your children in the habit of washing their hands before and after an activity. When it comes to the playground, this is especially important, as you don’t know whose hands were there before. Washing hands before and after play will protect them from the germs lurking on the monkey bars or the swings.
Steer Clear of Indoor Playgrounds
Indoor playgrounds are a whole different story when it comes to germs. Outdoor air does a small part in “cleaning” germs, in that it doesn’t trap them in one space. But when you head to an indoor playground, you’re trapping all those germs and bacteria in one place. Indoor playgrounds tend to see a lot of different hands, so some nasty bacteria could be waiting on the surface.
Use Nasal Sanitizer
Especially when it starts getting colder, it’s going to be essential to apply nasal sanitizer to your kid’s nose—especially for younger children. There aren’t many ways to protect your child’s nasal cavities, but it’s something that can be quite beneficial during cold and flu season. These sanitizers can protect from others who may have the sniffles, and do a good job protecting from any germs getting in through the nose.
Bring Microfiber Towel & Spray
If you’re planning on spending a full day at the park, bring a spray bottle with cleanser (ensure it’s environmentally friendly) and a microfiber towel. Wipe down tables that you plan to sit at for long periods. Especially if you plan on having a picnic, you need to wipe down all surfaces you or your child may touch—from the heavy-duty plastic picnic tables to the community grills.