Social interactions are an important part of the physical and emotional wellbeing of children.
At this time, British Columbians must limit in-person social gatherings to the people they live with. This includes no playdates for children. The order from the Provincial Health Officer is in effect until February 5, 2021 at midnight.
For children, staying 2 metres apart is not always feasible and is not expected at all times. Encouraging children who do not belong to the same household (social group) to avoid or limit direct physical contact as much as possible is more important than them keeping 2 metres apart. Spending time outdoors is one of the best ways to support children in staying safe.
Play dates are important for children’s well-being!
Children are less likely than adults to catch, spread or get sick from COVID-19.
Always plan safe play dates.
This means play dates are:
- with the same child(ren) as much as possible,
- outdoors as much as possible,
- for shorter rather than longer periods of time
Before and after playdates, have all children wash their hands properly.
During play dates, remind children to:
- minimize direct physical contact; this is more important than staying 2 metres apart
- cough and sneeze into their elbows or tissue
- keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth
- wash their hands (when needed)
- avoid sharing snacks and other food and drinks
Before the playdate, ask your child if they feel sick. If you or your child feel sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home!
If toys are to be used among children, offer toys and items that encourage individual play and that can be easily cleaned and reduce hand-to-hand-contact and cross contamination.
Toys can be cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected with a store-bought product or bleach solution. Visit BCCDC’s cleaning and disinfecting page
for more information.
Sand, water and playdough can be safely used for play provided that children wash their hands before and after play.